Sheffield United are well-equipped to survive their gruelling finish to the League One season, Tony McMahon has insisted.
Speaking ahead of this afternoon’s game against Carlisle - the first of eight matches Danny Wilson’s side must play between now and April 27 - the defender warned they will not be knocked off course by an already congested fixture schedule further complicated by the postponement of recent meetings with Crewe Alexandra, Brentford and Crawley Town.
McMahon, reflecting upon last weekend’s crucial and impressive victory over Tranmere Rovers, said: “We had to dig deep and we stood up to the battle well.
“It’s vitally important to do that because, at this stage, conditions aren’t always the best and things can be very tight.
“We’ve shown we can adapt to different circumstances which is a good quality to have.”
United, fifth in the table but having played less games than all of their promotion rivals, visit Walsall following today’s home clash before hosting Crawley on April 9. Swindon, who are fourth, arrive at Bramall Lane four days later while Brentford follow suit on April 16.
United re-arranged journey to Gresty Road has been sandwiched between meetings with Portsmouth (April 20) and Preston North End (April 27).
Wilson, the United manager, compared the burgeoning partnership between McMahon and Barry Robson to the one forged by Matthew Lowton and Lee Williamson last term.
“Tony and Barry have worked together before at Middlesbrough,” he said. “They know how each other likes to operate and there’s a sort of telepathy there.”
Citing the experience of colleagues such as Dave Kitson and Robson as potentially being “a major factor” in the race for a top two finish, McMahon said: “There’s a lot of that (experience) in this team now which is one of the reasons why we were able to be so disciplined at Tranmere. It’s massive to have that.
“Because even though the pitch was awful, that little bit of know-how lads like that bring enables you to know when to play and when not to play.
“And, at certain stages in the game, they just bring that little bit of composure.”
“In fairness, though, even the younger lads here have got good experience,” McMahon added.
“Look at H (Harry Maguire) who has only just turned 20 yet has played over 100 games.”