Sheffield United: It has to be top two for Blades, says Mark Duffy

Mark Duffy says Sheffield United have got the talent to win promotion. Pic Simon Bellis/Sportimage

Mark Duffy says Sheffield United have got the talent to win promotion. Pic Simon Bellis/Sportimage

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Mark Duffy thinks Sheffield United are stronger than the Burton Albion team which reached the Championship last term.

Duffy, who moved to Bramall Lane during the close season after winning promotion at the Pirelli Stadium, made the claim ahead of this evening’s League One clash with Shrewsbury Town.

Reflecting upon his time in Staffordshire, the former Birmingham City winger said: “It was quite early on at Burton that I thought we might do something. Looking around the dressing room, I knew we had a strong 11 and lads who could change things off the bench.

CLICK HERE for the form guide ahead of Sheffield United’s trip to Shrewsbury

“Probably, we’ve got a better squad and a better 11 here (at United) now. We all know where we want to end up and it’s not the play-offs. I’m not going to lie to anybody, I want automatic promotion, but, to achieve that, you can’t take your feet off the gas.”

Duffy, who was named in the PFA’s divisional team of the year following his exploits with Albion, scored during Saturday’s 4-0 victory over Port Vale which lifted United to fifth in the table.

But Mark Duffy accepts Shrewsbury Town will be dangerous opponents tonight. Pic Simon Bellis/Sportimage

But Mark Duffy accepts Shrewsbury Town will be dangerous opponents tonight. Pic Simon Bellis/Sportimage

Chris Wilder’s team will stretch their unbeaten run in the competition to nine games if they avoid defeat at Greenhous Meadow where Shrewsbury, still without a manager following Micky Mellon’s departure, have not won since August.

Click here for Mark Duffy’s stats for this season

Wilder used yesterday’s pre-match media conference to again warn his players against the danger of complacency.

“You never crack football. The top teams are ‘at it’ every single day and always, no matter when, what or where, turn up,” he said.

Echoing those sentiments, Duffy said: “The gaffer is always drilling into us that it’s the dirty work, the pressing and the tackling, that we have to get right.

“Big Jack O’Connell wiped someone out against Port Vale at 4-0 up and I was laughing at the side of the pitch but, joking aside, that’s the attitude that gets you promotion.”

United have been drawn against Leyton Orient in the first round of the FA Cup. The tie will take place at Bramall Lane next month.

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