Sheffield United: Cup run whets appetite for Blades glory

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Neill Collins believes Sheffield United’s FA Cup exploits can inspire them to even greater glories next term.

Nigel Clough’s side have made gaining promotion from League One their immediate priority for the 2014/14 campaign after narrowly failing to qualify for this season’s top six.

United, who visit Oldham Athletic tomorrow night eighth in the table, were languishing in the relegation zone just two months ago but combined their surge up the rankings with reaching the semi-finals of the world’s most prestigious domestic knockout competition a fortnight ago.

Collins, a member of the team beaten 5-3 by Hull City during a pulsating contest at Wembley, said: “What happened down there has made me so excited about next season. More determined than ever to bring some success to this club.

“Hopefully, in the past few weeks, we’ve done enough to keep the fans onside although they always have been right behind us to be fair. But we want to keep them as excited as we are about what the future might hold.

“To see how proud they were at Wembley made us as players so proud to be here too. Some fans turn out when things are going well or when there’s a Premier League club involved in the matches. Ours are different because they turn out regardless and we want to repay them for that.

“To see over 33,000 of them make the journey to London just underlines how big this club is. There are top-flight teams who wouldn’t get that type of following and we genuinely appreciated it more than we can probably say.”

United, 2-1 winners at Port Vale on Friday, are expected to strengthen the options at Clough’s disposal during the summer although the manager and his staff have ruled-out making wholesale changes to a squad which has won 21 of its 39 outings under his tutelage.

Collins added: “It’s been a long tough season but, because of the feeling there is around the place now, I can’t wait for the next one to get started. In fact, I wish we could do it straight away.”