Marc McNulty has rubbished claims Sheffield United are prepared to sacrifice their place in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy this season in order to focus on gaining promotion from League One, writes James Shield.
And, speaking ahead of tonight’s second round tie at Hartlepool, the former Livingston centre-forward delivered a sharp rebuke to fellow professionals who claim the much-maligned competition is nothing more than an irritating addition to an already congested fixture calendar.
“If there’s a medal to be won then why not go out there and do your utmost to get it,” McNulty told The Star. “If you aren’t bothered about trying to do that then it makes no sense to me.
“There are so many top, top players who finish their careers without winning anything and the same goes for appearing at Wembley too. That’s where the final of the JPT takes place so, as far as I’m concerned, that’s something we want to be a part of.
“I don’t think there’s any such thing as a bad medal to win. If there is then, to be honest, I’m yet to see it.”
McNulty, aged 22, scored his third goal of the season during United’s defeat at Chesterfield last weekend. Nigel Clough, the visitors’ manager, took the unusual step of naming his squad for this evening’s fixture at Victoria Park during the club’s pre-match media briefing at the Redtooth Academy yesterday.
“To be honest, the goal doesn’t really mean much to me at all,” McNulty continued. “I know people say all strikers are selfish and, yes, to a degree that’s true.
“Of course I want to get as many (goals) as I possibly can but, for me, the main thing is that the team wins. That’s always the most important thing so, if I’m being honest, it’s not one that I feel particularly pleased about or are going to celebrate.”
McNulty, together with his United team mate Stefan Scougall, arrived at Bramall Lane from the Scottish Championship club.
“It’s not going to be my first time at Hartlepool,” McNulty said. “Our old manager from Livingston, Yogi (John Hughes), spent a wee while there and we all went down to watch a game.
“Scougs was on the bus too and Yogi sorted us out with the tickets.
“So I know it’s going to be a tight ground with the wind swirling about. We’ve got to go there, give everything and make sure we are the ones to get through,”