SHEFFIELD UNITED: First the glory then the craic for Michael Doyle

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THE tickets have been sorted and flights booked.

But Sheffield United captain Michael Doyle, who until last week banned friends and loved ones back home in Ireland from uttering the ‘W’ word in his presence, remains nonchalent about the prospect of appearing in a League One play-off final at Wembley.

Plotting Huddersfield Town’s downfall takes priority over the craic.

“My family are coming over,” Doyle said. “They’re staying with an uncle in London and obviously they are looking forward to it.

“But I don’t want to get caught up in the hype. All I’m focused on is trying to win the game.

“Then, hopefully, I can go out, celebrate and have a good drink with them all afterwards.”

Family is important to Doyle. Although he admits winning promotion in the capital would be a “highlight of my career,” the midfielder is determined not to be overwhelmed by the sense of occasion.

“I like to go home and do things around the house with my wife and kids,” he said.

“To be honest, it’s not hard to get away from everything that’s going on because my lad is more interested in action men and stuff like that than he is football.

“This is the first time I’ve ever been in the play-offs and I told myself at the start of the week that I’d soak up the atmosphere and enjoy it.

“But that’s different to getting carried away. Doing it this way helps me stay focused because there’s still an important job to do.”

Domesticity, combined with United’s decision to prepare for Saturday’s match at their own training complex rather than some secrative rural retreat have, Doyle insisted earlier this week, left him in the perfect frame of mind to focus on the task ahead.

“We’ve just tried to treat this as any other game,” Doyle said. “We know how big it is. It would be stupid to deny it. But we’ve stayed relaxed and concentrated.

“To be honest, there’s not been much talk of Wembley among the lads in the dressing room. We’ve gone about things in exactly the same way as we always would. The only thing that’s been different is this press conference.”

Together with the majority of Wilson’s squad, Doyle turned down the opportunity to look around the 90,000 seater stadium on Friday.

“Personally I’ll leave it. But everybody is different and, if some of the lads want to, then the option is there.”

Doyle led by example during United’s semi-final win over Stevenage.

United must show similar mettle again to return to the Championship at the first attempt following relegation last year.

“These lads are easy to lead as it were,” he said. “We’ve got a lot of leaders in the dressing room and a lot of spirit.

“I probably am a bit of shouter. It just depends on the game really. I’ll probably have to shout because this one is bound to be loud and intense.”