Sheffield United: Macca wary of North End threat

Sheffield United's Bramall Lane pitch, which is wet, but clear of snow thanks to the undersoil heating.

Sheffield United's Bramall Lane pitch, which is wet, but clear of snow thanks to the undersoil heating.

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Sheffield United must not be lulled into a false sense of security by Preston North End’s position in the League One table, midfielder Kevin McDonald warned last night.

McDonald, the United midfielder, was speaking ahead of today’s meeting between the two sides at Bramall Lane which marks the end of this season’s regular fixture programme.

Having secured play-off qualification following their draw with Brentford nearly a fortnight ago, McDonald acknowledged the importance of securing a positive result against Simon Grayson’s 14th placed side.

But the former Scotland under-21 international said: “Preston are probably going to be looking forward to their holidays and they’ll turn-up with their flip flops on.

“But that makes them dangerous opponents because they’ll be able to go about their business with freedom.

“We’ve got some big games coming up and it goes without saying they are the most important things on the agenda.

“But it’s also important, as far as we’re concerned, to get a good result and go into those on a high.”

United are sixth in the table and know the outcome of today’s contest could decide whether they secure home advantage in the second leg of their forthcoming semi-final.

“Ideally it would be nice to bring it back to the Lane,” McDonald said. “But, to be honest, it shouldn’t make much difference to us if we don’t because you’ve got to play home and away anyway.

“We’re confident in ourselves no matter what anyone else thinks. There’s always been a confidence here behind the scenes.”

McDonald added: “We know we’re not unbeatable. If we were then we’d be going straight up.

“But I do reckon that if we play to our potential then we are capable of beating anybody.

“That’s the objective. We wanted automatic and didn’t get it so we’ve got to make sure we take this chance.”

*Twitter: JamesShield1

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