SHEFFIELD United’s Michael Doyle wants to prove the doubters wrong at Wembley this weekend.
The former Ireland international, expected to anchor Danny Wilson’s midfield during Saturday’s League One play-off final against Huddersfield Town, revealed he is aware some observers think United lack the qualities required to perform on the big stage.
And, despite admitting that bringing Championship football back to Bramall Lane would be a highlight in his career, Doyle acknowledged that the opportunity to ram those words down critics’ throats is providing an extra inspiration.
United overcame Stevenage to book their meeting with Simon Grayson’s side and the midfielder said: “I know people didn’t fancy us going into the play-offs. A lot thought this game would be Stevenage v MK Dons. Don’t get me wrong, missing out on automatic promotion hurt. But we’ve shown we can win games and pick ourselves up. We’ve shown character and spirit.”
United seemed destined to secure a top two finish after winning at the Galpharm Stadium in February. But, having surrendered the runners-up berth to Sheffield Wednesday they were forced to settle for third placed. Town, who came fourth, beat Dons with 40 goal striker Jordan Rhodes scoring twice.
Doyle added: “Every battle out there is going to be intense. Jordan is an important player for them but we can’t just focus on him because they’ve got lots of good ones like Lee Novak, Alan Lee, Danny Ward and Kallum Higginbotham. It’s going to be a tense, tight game. A proper derby. They’ll be strong opposition and we’ll give them respect but they’ll afford us exactly the same too.”
Doyle’s partnership with Kevin McDonald has been a driving force behind United’s achievements this term with the Scot hoping to recover from a hamstring injury in time for the divisional showpiece. “I’ve spoken to Macca and he seems positive,” Doyle said.