Wary Reds ace braced for Blades barrage

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JIM O’Brien has warned his Barnsley teammates to expect a barrage from a Blades side “fighting for their lives”.

The Reds winger is relishing today’s South Yorkshire derby clash with Sheffield United at Bramall Lane and well aware that a draw will be enough to condemn their local rivals to relegation.

“They’ll be fighting for their lives, so we know it’s going to be a tough game,” said the Scottish wide man.

“They’ll really need to go for it because they’ve got to win, so they’ll be up for it. But we will be up for it as well.

“There’ll be a good crowd at the game and it will be a good atmosphere.

“I’ve not played at Bramall Lane before. Every ground has been new for me and it’s like a little adventure this season for me.”

Reds boss Mark Robins has challenged his team to make sure they emerge with local bragging rights.

But Robins was sweating on the fitness of striker Marlon Harewood who went back to Bloomfield Road this week for treatment for a hamstring strain, with a late fitness test lined up.

“We’ve played well this season against good sides, but we’ve slipped up here and there in matches which we probably should have won,” reflected O’Brien. “Some games have been disappointing, but we’ve been alright.

“We never thought we’d go down, that’s never been a thought in our minds. But there was a stage about Christmas time where we thought at if we kicked on we could have maybe touched the Play-offs.

“It wasn’t to be, though, but unfortunately circumstances dictate that.

“It’s an exciting division and anyone can beat anyone, which is why I like it so much. But if we do well at home then we’ve a chance of doing well.”