Sheffield United: Blades show what they really can do

Blades players celebrate their FA Cup winner at Fulham.
Blades players celebrate their FA Cup winner at Fulham.
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It may not have been the sort of game that enthralled the nation but you can be certain it captivated and delighted all Sheffield United fans.

Yes, Fulham were poor and their manager called it their worst performance. But no one is underestimating United’s part in all that. They were word perfect.

So, what did the Blades show the uninitiated who found the ITV4 channel and stuck with it to the sweet, as opposed to bitter, end?

Overall, that Nigel Clough can formulate a game plan, set his team out accordingly, inspire them to carry it out.

Of course, off the back of the poorest display under him in the 3-0 defeat at Crewe, had to convince them they had a chance away to a Premier League side. Er, remember Villa anyone?

Their organisation was superb. Defensively they were excellent but this wasn’t just a backs-to-the-wall job.

They broke with pace and purpose and it wasn’t token attacking either. They got men forward and, in one second half attack, had six men in the Fulham area with the cross about to come in.

Viewers saw how Mark Howard handled a rare appearance; what a good signing John Brayford is; how solid the Harry Maguire-Neill Collins axis can be; what the enthusiastic Bob Harris will bring.

There was the disciplined deep role sitting in front of the back four of Stephen McGinn which he carried out with real diligence and which provided some assurance when the full backs went forward.

Note the wide pair, Ryan Flynn and Jamie Murphy, providing attacking intent, using their pace to carry United up the pitch. And there was the under-valued Chris Porter, a much needed focal point to the attack, carrying out a selfless task with due diligence.

For a League One side to win twice away at Premier League clubs in the same season is rare indeed.

United now must replicate such form in the league. Obviously, they are capable!