SHEFFIELD United manager Micky Adams last night insisted he is not intimidated by Barnsley’s success in South Yorkshire derbies this season ahead of tomorrow’s showdown at Bramall Lane.
United must smash the visitors’ unbeaten record in local competition to stand a chance of keeping their Championship survival hopes alive. Even then, they will be relegated if fellow strugglers Doncaster Rovers and Crystal Palace both collect a point from their games against Leicester and Hull City.
Adams said: “I’ve been told they’ve not lost one of these all term. Well, that’s not going to come into or affect my thinking because we know what we’ve got to do and that doesn’t change.
“I know what Barnsley’s team talk is going to be. I know what they’re going to want to come here and do.
“The law of averages says that you’ve got to lose (a derby) sometime. We’ll be doing our utmost to make sure that happens now and then keeping our fingers crossed other results go our way.”
“Mark (Robins, Barnsley’s manager) has done a terrific job though,” Adams added. “In terms of young managers, he’s one to keep an eye on in future years.”
United climbed off the foot of the table and into 22nd place after beating Reading on Easter Monday. That result, combined with last weekend’s victory over Bristol City, saw them move to within six points of Rovers following their draw at Oakwell.
“I’ve been asked what we are doing differently now,” added Adams.
“The answer is simple: putting the ball in the back of the net and taking chances.”
With youngsters Jordan Slew and Harry Maguire set to feature against Robins’ men, Adams identified United’s youth policy as cause for encouragement whichever division they are in next season.
But he insisted: “A team is still only as strong as its senior professionals, it’s good senior pros.”