Sheffield United: Macca set for toughest test yet

Kevin McDonald will be a key man for United � BLADES SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY
Kevin McDonald will be a key man for United � BLADES SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY
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Kevin McDonald believes Sheffield United are equipped to survive another season in what he describes as “England’s toughest division,” writes James Shield.

But the midfielder, who is poised to start tonight’s League One curtain-raiser against Notts County, warned this term’s race for the Championship could be the toughest in years.

McDonald told The Star: “It’s probably the hardest division to get out of. I can’t imagine any of the others being harder.

“There are more really big teams in it now what with Wolves coming down so I reckon it’s going to get even more difficult still.

“But we’re ready and we’re looking forward to getting going again. It’s nice feeling to know that the competitive football is now only a day away.

“Every club, because this competition is so tight, is going to have a sticky patch at some point. It’s how you deal with it that counts.

“Every single game you learn something new about yourselves and your team mates. We know we’ll stick together no matter what comes our way.”

This evening’s fixture, chosen to open the 2013/14 campaign because of its historical significance, also marks David Weir’s debut as a manager following his arrival at Bramall Lane in June.

McDonald, who has helped United qualify for two successive play-offs, added: “He wants us to go out there and enjoy ourselves when we play. Because that’s what football is all about.

“But he’s also big on the little details. Very thorough and professional.”

Meanwhile, David Unsworth has left his position as United’s head of academy coaching while young defender Aaron Barry will join Dumbarton on loan until January, subject to international clearance.

*Twitter: @JamesShield1