Sheffield United: Davis throws down the FA Cup gauntlet

Crewe Alexandra manager Steve Davis
Crewe Alexandra manager Steve Davis
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Steve Davis, the Crewe Alexandra manager, hopes his players will be inspired by the atmosphere at Bramall Lane tonight, writes James Shield.

Sheffield United meet the visitors from Gresty Road in an FA Cup first round replay for the right to host Plymouth Argyle early next month.

Despite praising Crewe’s defensive solidity in recent weeks, Davis said: “We will be going there to frustrate them and put them on the back foot as much as we can. We haven’t had much success in the FA Cup and we are looking to progress and have a good run if we can.

“As a player these are the game you look forward to. Sheffield United are a big club and it should be a good atmosphere inside their stadium.

“That, as far as I’m concerned, is something to thrive on more than anything else.”

Nevertheless, Davis’ hopes of overwhelming a United defence which has kept five clean sheets in its last eight games have been dented by the fact that Marcus Haber is away on international duty with Canada while Danny Haynes (Notts County) and Febian Brandy (Rotherham United) have been refused permission to feature by their parent clubs.

Speaking after Crewe held Chesterfield to a goalless draw last weekend, Davis said: “I thought Brad Inman was the pick of our strikers there, especially in the second-half.

“He could do with a little more confidence but he gave us drive and got behind them when he could. That was good to see.

“We defended well again, that’s another clean sheet. We’ve found a way of stopping the goals, now we have to find a way of scoring some.

“We are getting our results through effort, now we have to show more quality. It is trying to get the balance between being tight at the back and trying to have enough when you are going forward.

“We’ve worked very hard on our attacking form.”

*Twitter: @JamesShield1