Nigel Clough, the Sheffield United manager, says results over the Christmas period could define the rest of his team’s season, writes James Shield.
United will stretch their unbeaten run in all competitions to five games if they avoid defeat to promotion chasing Swindon Town at Bramall Lane today.
The meeting with Mark Cooper’s side is the first of three home fixtures Clough’s squad is scheduled to play before they visit Walsall on New Year’s Day.
“We’ve done well on the road,” he said. “Now we’ve got some big ones coming up at our place and we want to do well in those too.
“It’s important that we try and maximise the advantage being in front of our own supporters can give us.”
United, who climbed to 20th after drawing with leaders Leyton Orient at the Matchroom Stadium last month, face Stevenage, the team directly below them in the League One table, in Hertfordshire next weekend before hosting Oldham Athletic and Tranmere Rovers on December 26 and 29 respectively.
Meanwhile, Dominc Calvert-Lewin features among 11 nominees for the League Football Education (LFE) Goal of the Month Award for November.
Calvert-Lewin, who recently scored a hat-trick for United during their FA Youth Cup success over Worcester City, caught the judges eye with a perfectly executed chip against Crystal Palace.
Alan Sykes, the LFE chief executive, said: “This competition showcases the stars of tomorrow.”