Sheffield United: League One leaders told to expect tough test in the North-West

Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder .Pic credit should read: Robin Parker/Sportimage
Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder .Pic credit should read: Robin Parker/Sportimage
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League One leaders Sheffield United have been warned Oldham Athletic will drag them into “a dogfight” when they two teams meet this weekend.

Connor Ripley, who impressed during Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Peterborough, issued the threat after claiming the poor state of Boundary Park’s playing surface will not suit Chris Wilder’s side.

Sheffield United have performed on some poor surfaces in recent weeks.

Sheffield United have performed on some poor surfaces in recent weeks.

“Every game is winnable and we don’t write any of them off,” the goalkeeper said. “They have to come to our ground and have to play on a hard pitch they don’t want to play on.

“It could work in our favour. We know we are capable of beating these sides.”

Ripley was referring to Oldham’s victory over Scunthorpe in October when Graham Alexander’s side were still three points clear at the top of the table.

“It is tight down there and we have been beating teams and bringing them into the dogfight,” the 24-year-old, on loan from Middlesbrough, added. “We were a little bit unlucky at Bramall Lane, but now they are coming to a stadium where the pitch isn’t the greatest and which doesn’t work in their favour.

“Hopefully, we can nick something. We need the fans to help us and get behind us.”

United, who beat Oldham 2-0 on Boxing Day, will enjoy a 4,350 strong following in Greater Manchester. But Wilder, whose side are 10 points clear of third-placed Fleetwood Town with eight matches remaining, has seen his preparations complicated by Daniel Lafferty’s call-up by Northern Ireland. Matt Done (pictured) could deputise at wing-back although Chris Basham has also performed that role in the past.