BLADES star Michael Doyle has paid the ultimate compliment to midfield partner Kevin McDonald on the eve of the play-offs by likening him to one-time England great Glenn Hoddle.
Former Burnley and Scotland under-21 international McDonald was a free agent and facing an uncertain future in the sport when Sheffield United manager Danny Wilson offered him the chance to resurrect his career at Bramall Lane last summer.
And McDonald has emerged a key performer in United’s attempt to escape League One at the first time of asking. His vision and passing range have caught the eye, and he claimed his third goal in United colours in the 2-2 draw at relegated Exeter City, repaying the faith shown in him by Wilson.
McDonald is in imperious form and Doyle is tipping him to make a major contribution in the club’s two-legged play-off semi-final with Stevenage.
“Kev has got everything going for him,” Doyle told The Star. “He can tackle, pick out a pass from anywhere and you can give him the ball anywhere on the pitch, even if there are two to three men around him, and he will get himself out of situations.
“He is a Glenn Hoddle type of player. He is brilliant and we are going to need him to pull us through.
“When he plays well, the team plays well.
“He is going to be massive for us in the play-offs.
“I have not seen anyone better in League One.
“I think it is only a matter of time before Kev steps up again. Hopefully it will be with us.
“When we were down to 10 men at Exeter, he just took the game by the scruff of the neck. He was beating two or three players and took so much pressure off
the team. He was outstanding.”
United have decided not to appeal James Beattie’s red card against Exeter, ruling the striker out of the play-offs. Beattie was sent off for a two-footed challenge on James Dunne.
The club have almost sold out their 1,390 tickets for the televised trip to Stevenage on Friday.