Sheffield United: Blades hope to sting the Bees

Now he's the main man, Chris Morgan hopes to win his second game in the Bramall Lane hot-seat, against Brentford
Now he's the main man, Chris Morgan hopes to win his second game in the Bramall Lane hot-seat, against Brentford
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HE made this management lark look pretty darn easy on Saturday afternoon, writes James Shield.

But tonight, when third-placed Brentford finally arrive at Bramall Lane, Chris Morgan knows it will be anything but.

Swindon Town might have been put to the sword in convincing fashion less than 72 hours ago.

But Uwe Rosler’s side, who posted an impressive result of their own over the weekend, are unlikely to succumb without an almighty fight.

“The outcome and the performance we put in should have filled the lads with bucket loads of confidence,” Morgan said. “That was an important game and this is too.

“Brentford will be a test. They are organised and they work damn hard.

“There’s a lot riding on this for both teams and I thought they were excellent when we played them at their place.

“But they know what we are capable of also. It promises to be a great occasion.”

Appearances, of course, can be deceptive.

Morgan, who was a member of Danny Wilson’s coaching staff when Brentford triumphed 2-0 at Griffin Park, croaked his way through the post match press conference which followed the victory over Town.

The sight of the 35-year-old and his assistant David Unsworth jogging across the pitch to hug friends and family celebrating on the balcony of the stadium’s Superbox revealed even more about the emotional rollercoaster they had just endured than the centre-half turned manager’s shot vocal chords.

Despite his protestations to the contrary, Morgan, who replaced Wilson at the helm three days before Town’s visit, has wasted no time stamping his mark on United’s philosophy.

Greater tempo and forward-thinking full-backs are two hallmarks of the new regime. The decision to pair Chris Porter and Dave Kitson in attack also paid dividends with both scribbling their names onto the scoresheet against Kevin MacDonald’s side.

“Kits has got that experience and a goal threat,” Morgan said. “Ports has got goals in him so, when we looked at all the options, that’s why we went with them.

“Ports has got a fantastic opportunity and I think he’s benefited from being away on loan (at Shrewsbury) because playing matches has given him a lift.

“Sometimes, when you go away, you take a good look at things.

“As players, we always look towards someone else to give us a lift but there’s no one better to do that than yourself.”

“I’ve told the players that, in the time I’m doing this job, I’m not going to tell experienced people how to play,” Morgan added. “I didn’t ask them to start at a much higher tempo (against Town) but I am firmly of belief that, if you are going to do well, that’s what you’ve got to do.”

Brentford have won three of their five outings since this fixture, initially scheduled to take place on March 23, was postponed due to adverse weather.

Fifth-placed United enter the match, which will have a huge bearing on League One’s automatic promotion race, boasting a pair of victories and draws.

The hosts, beaten 2-0 by Rosler’s charges in November, are four points behind their latest opponents but enjoy a game in hand.

“I’ve not looked at the table,” Morgan said. “Only our preparation for the game.

“That’s the only thing everyone here is concentrating on at the moment because that’s the most important thing.”

While United were locking horns with Town, Brentford looked set to suffer a shock defeat at home to Portsmouth until late goals from Clayton Donaldson and Bradley Wright-Phillips spared their blushes.

Morgan used yesterday’s media briefing at Shirecliffe to confirm that, as The Star reported on Thursday, Richard Cresswell’s loan at York City has been terminated while Jordan Chapell has also been recalled from Torquay.

“I spoke to Nigel (Worthington) at York and Alan (Knill) at Torquay and explained that we are in a situation whereby we need everyone available to us,” Morgan said. “Cressy, unfortunately, got a little bit of an Achilles injury in his last game there but, like Unsy (assistant David Unsworth), he’s another great person to have around.

“You need people who are going to be totally honest and happy to point out things you might not see or miss.

“And they are.”

*Twitter: JamesShield1