Sheffield United: Neil Warnock tells Blades fans to revel in Steel City bragging rights

It was all smiles for Sheffield United fans after they secured a trip to Wembley
It was all smiles for Sheffield United fans after they secured a trip to Wembley
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Former Blades manager Neil Warnock says Sheffield United’s supporters should enjoy having the local bragging rights this week.

Second-half strikes by Ryan Flynn and John Brayford ensured United defeated Charlton Athletic at Bramall Lane yesterday and booked a place in the semi-finals of the FA Cup.

Sheffield Wednesday missed out on the opportunity to play Nigel Clough’s side in the last eight of the tournament after losing 2-1 to Charlton at Hillsborough.

Warnock, who spent nearly eight years in charge of United, told The Star: “The fans from the red half of the city will enjoy going to work over the next few days. They will be buzzing.

“The blue half will be saying ‘what division are you in!’ Nothing changes in Sheffield!

“At the moment, United have got the bragging rights for a few days and a trip to Wembley that every Blade will look forward to.”

United became the first third-tier team to reach the last four of Britain’s oldest cup competition since Wycombe Wanderers in 2001.

Warnock, now a TV pundit, claims United’s superb run is good thing for the city.

“We’ve had so many disappointments in Sheffield from both sides of the city over the last few years so it’s great to have some good news around the place,” he said.

“I was disappointed we didn’t get a Steel City derby for selfish reasons but this comes as a reward for all the hard work the team has put in since Nigel [Clough] came in.”

More than 30,000 fans watched United cause another upset. Clough’s team have now knocked out two Premier League clubs and two Championship clubs.

Warnock admitted: “It (beating Charlton) was fantastic. We’ve not had that many days to write home about in the last few years.

“But the attitude of the players was great. I thought they were quite cautious in the first half and I was disappointed with the whole game. I can understand the cautiousness. Nigel didn’t want to concede goals and then all of a sudden be chasing the game

“But Nigel got a grip of them at half-time and they were great after the break. It was a very good team performance.”

Clough’s troops, who have won nine matches in a row in all competitions, face Hull City in the semi-finals next month.

“They will be massive underdogs but I’m sure tactically they will make a good game of it,” said Warnock.

“They will thrive on not being the favourites. They have done all season. I wonder how many of the clubs who they have beaten, such as Aston Villa or Fulham, wish they had tried a little bit harder because Sheffield United are going to Wembley and I’m sure their fans wish that it was them.

“It will be a day out for United’s fans but I imagine it won’t be for Nigel Clough and his team. I think the players will want to go there and won’t want to be embarrassed at Wembley.

“We’ve got this far and we will sell out our allocation and I’m sure we will give a good account of ourselves and then who knows. It’s in the hands of the gods at times with the FA Cup. It could be a decision. It could be an injury. It could be a sending off. Anything can happen.”