Behind Enemy Lines: Sheffield United

THE FA Cup takes priority again this weekend with Millwall looking to make it to the fifth round for the third time in the last four seasons.

Standing in their way are Chris Wilder's Sheffield United. The Blades have had a fine season to date in the Premier League and are challenging for the European places.

Millwall overcame League Two Newport 3-0 in the third round, while the Blades came through a tricky tie against non-league AFC Fylde 2-1.



Alex Grace spoke to Blades fan Steve Watts ahead of this Saturday's game.

Why do you support Sheffield United?

I have done since birth. I was born into a Blades family, so that was the (non) choice for me. It has been a good choice and I'm enjoying being a Blade – especially at the moment.



What has been your favourite season following the Blades?

There have been some good seasons supporting the Blades.

However, for me the best one was our promotion season from League One in 2016-17. It was the start of our journey that has seen us now reach and look comfortable in the Premier League.

It has been a brilliant first campaign back in the Premier League for Sheffield United – what has been behind that success?

The answer to that is simple: Chris Wilder and his assistant Alan Knill. They have managed to transform these players with their system. We haven't changed the system from last season. We're still playing 3-5-2 and that has been a breath of fresh air in the top flight as well.

It has served us well this season. Long may it continue.

The transfer window is open – do you think Sheffield United need to strengthen and if so where?

We have been fairly strong so far. I know Wilder has said in the media that he wants to bring players in.

For me, I think we should sign goalkeeper Dean Henderson and Muhamed Besic on permanent deals and that is all we need until the end of the season.

Then we can look at other positions in the summer.

Sheffield United have only gone beyond the fourth round in the FA Cup once since reaching the semi-finals in the 2013-14 season – where does the competition rank in the list of priorities this season?

You hear what gets said about the FA Cup every year, that it is losing its magic. But for me it remains very important.

We have gone out early in the last few seasons because we have been focusing on a promotion push. It's still important but at the same time it's not our number one priority.

What are your thoughts on Millwall manager Gary Rowett?

His last couple of jobs since Birmingham have not been too successful. He needed a club to call home and get his reputation back a little bit. Millwall provides that for him. He and the club are a good fit.

What have you made of Millwall's season to date?

This will surprise many, but I had Millwall down for the play-offs this season. Lots of people thought I was mad but I still think they can get there.

Looking at your league position and form at the moment, you can easily end up in the play-offs at the end of the season.

If you could sign one Millwall player, who would it be and why?

Easy answer. Jed Wallace. Great Player.

Who will be your key men on Saturday?

It depends on the side that Chris Wilder names, whether he decides to go for it or not. I would say Callum Robinson up front, and Besic or John Fleck in the middle of the park.

Will you be at the game?

Yes I will be. I always enjoy going to Millwall. It's a proper working man's club with proper fans. Always a great atmosphere there too.

What is your predicted Sheffield United starting line-up and formation?

3-5-2: Henderson; Jagielka, Egan, Basham, Robinson, Stevens;  Besic, Freeman, Fleck; Sharp, Robinson.

Finally, your score Prediction?

3-1 to the Blades.

Graphic: @ShedCreative 

Staff

(@NewsAtDen)