Sheffield United: The fear factor is back

Ryan Flynn and Jamie Murphy are now key men for Sheffield United � BLADES SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY

Ryan Flynn and Jamie Murphy are now key men for Sheffield United � BLADES SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY

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Jamie Murphy last night claimed Sheffield United’s League One rivals are intimidated by Nigel Clough’s side, writes James Shield.

And Murphy, who enters today’s match against Swindon Town searching for his fifth goal of the season, insisted the visitors’ willingness to win ugly makes them a formidable proposition in the battle for play-off qualification.

United travel to the County Ground having taken maximum points from eight of their previous 10 outings and intent on closing the gap between themselves and sixth-placed Peterborough to just four.

Murphy, a driving force behind that impressive sequence of results, told The Star: “I’ve think we’ve definitely got that fear factor back. Teams are going into games now knowing that, if they’re not right on it, we are capable of giving them a going over.

“There’s a really determined streak to this group now. That’s the mentality we’ve got at the moment and it’s a good one to have.

“To try and win every single tackle, make every single pass and win every single game.”

United, who will learn this morning whether Matt Hill (hamstring) is able to deputise for the suspended Harry Maguire in central defence, have combined their climb up the table with reaching next month’s FA Cup semi-finals.

Murphy, reflecting on Tuesday’s victory over Crawley Town, said: “We started slowly down there and that was something the manager spoke about at half-time. But the fact we still came through says, as far as I’m concerned, a lot about this group.

“There’s a real team ethic here and that’s something which has been drilled into us. There’s also a real desire too.”

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