Cup run anyone or is it a distraction?

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AS a rule, clubs don’t want a cup run, the chance of a bit of cup glory, to get in the way of a genuine promotion challenge.

But then again, which club, which set of players, doesn’t fancy a bit of cup glamour, a spell in the FA Cup limelight and the kudos that goes with it?

If it is regarded as something of a dilemma then Sheffield United might be happy to contemplate it as they ponder the prospect of the sort of third round draw that offers a great chance of being in round four.

Of course, in traditional fashion, Blades boss Danny Wilson won’t be taking anything for granted whether it be Grimsby Town or Salisbury City who head to Sheffield on January 7 - the pair replay at Blundell Park a week tonight after their goalless draw in Wiltshire.

Wilson says he didn’t care who United got so long as it was a home draw.

He also said that progress to the third round was important from both a sporting and financial perspective and doesn’t believe that it would prove a distraction to United’s efforts to win promotion. He will apply that to the fourth round as well.

Having seen off a couple of League Two sides in Oxford United and Torquay, Wilson’s men will be firm favourites to progress to a potentially lucrative fourth-round tie when they tackle their first non-league opponents since 2000.

Grimsby, relegated two seasons ago, are in the bottom half of the Blue Square Bet Premier while Salisbury are a tier lower, the Blue Square South, and are in the lower reaches of their league.

If the anticipation of a “big one” or an attractive tie didn’t materialise, at least Unitedites will consider it the next best, which is a home tie and one that appears very winnable.

The draw meant plenty for Rob Scott, the ex-Blades player who is joint manager at Grimsby along with his former Rotherham United teammate Paul Hurst.

He had two and a half years in the mid-1990s as a player at Bramall Lane, although he made only half-a-dozen league appearances in that time with others in cup competitions.


comes from a non-league background having been a Dave Bassett signing from Sutton United, as was brother Andy, the current Rotherham manager, who had joined the previous year, 1992.

He and Hurst are bidding to revive Grimsby’s fortunes which had seen them relegated from League Two in 2010.

The duo have had instant success since starting out down football’s pyramid.

They gained promotions, in successive seasons, at Ilkeston Town and Boston United as well as cup successes before becoming the new management team at Grimsby last March, They currently have the Mariners on an eight match unbeaten run.

Wilson will take the opportunity to have Grimsby checked out tonight when they play Mansfield in the league and will be at next Tuesday’s replay.

Cup success appeals but Wilson’s focus is now on league action and Saturday’s home game with Rochdale.