Chris Wilder, the Sheffield United manager, says his players will come unstuck against League One strugglers Shrewsbury Town tomorrow unless they show the same “nasty streak” which saw them dismantle Port Vale.
United stretched their unbeaten run in the competition to eight games by thumping Bruno Ribeiro’s team 4-0 last weekend.
Vale, who arrived at Bramall Lane ranked fourth in the table, were swept aside in contemptuous fashion as goals from Ethan Ebanks-Landell (2), Mark Duffy and Stefan Scougall lifted Wilder’s team to fifth - three points behind second-placed Bradford City - ahead of Saturday’s match at Valley Parade.
But, with a visit to Greenhous Meadow sandwiched in between, Wilder said: “It’s a free hit for Shrewsbury. People will look at their coupons and think it’s a game we should win.
“We have got to go in with the attitude that we are going to do the nasty, horrible things well though. Bradford City away will take care of itself, MK Dons at home will take care of itself. But you need that same attitude in games like Shrewsbury because, let’s be frank, if we don’t have it then we’ll get done. It’s as simple as that.”
Wilder, who expects Daniel Lafferty to be available for selection in Shropshire after the defender was withdrawn with cramp, insisted the scoreline against Vale “did not flatter” United following an “outstanding” display.
“To win a game of football in this division , especially against a team who is above you in the table, you have to do a lot of things right,” he continued.
“People asked about momentum but everyone, the staff included, was very professional and focused going in.”
Ebanks-Landell scored for the third time in only two outings after volleying home just before the break after earlier converting from a John Fleck corner. Duffy and substitute Scougall completed the rout but Wilder said: “You know what I’m about. I was shouting at (Harry) Chapman with five minutes to go to shut the full-back down.
“There will be no coasting from us because, the minute we stop doing that, people will jump all over it. We have to keep the hammer down. Football changes pretty quickly and we’ve got to use the confidence running through the club to drive the run on. No matter who the player is, if they don’t show the right attitude then they’ll get barked at. Simple.”