CHRIS Porter, the Sheffield United striker, last night urged players on the periphery of Danny Wilson’s squad to use the FA Cup as a springboard into his first choice eleven.
United face Bristol Rovers in the first round of the competition today with Wilson acknowledging a congested fixture schedule could persuade him to ring the changes at the Memorial Stadium.
The visitors, who return to League One competition against Swindon Town next week, are preparing to play their sixth game in 22 days.
Porter, whose commanding performance during the recent Johnstone’s Paint Trophy success over Notts County was rewarded with a rare start against Portsmouth five days ago, said: “There’s real competition for places here now, especially among the strikers.
“So that means, no matter what the game is, you’ve got to be ready to take an opportunity when it arises.
“I think that’s what happened to me in the JPT. At least I hope it was.
“No matter what the game, you have to make sure you are ready to go and prepared because it can change how the gaffer might think for the ones coming up after that.
“You want to try and give him and the rest of the coaching staff some food for thought.”
Shaun Miller, John Cofie and Richard Cresswell will all be hoping for recalls against Rovers following spells on the bench.
David McAllister and Callum McFadzean could also be drafted into midfield should Wilson elect to rest key names ahead of Tuesday’s trip to Wiltshire.
Porter added: “A lot of people might say ‘The chances are you aren’t going to win the cup so why bother?’ I couldn’t disagree more.
“If you go into a game then you go in to win it. Not be half-hearted about it otherwise what’s the point.
“And, in any case, we want to keep our good run going and get as far as we possibly can.
“The chance of getting one of the top Premier League teams should be incentive in itself.
“We want to play on the best stages possible.”
Sheffield United’s under-18’s continue their Professional Development League campaign at Coventry City today.