Sheffield United: Wembley winner says don’t disrespect the JPT

Craig Alcock is a big fan of the Johnstone's Paint Trophy � copyright : Blades Sports Photography
Craig Alcock is a big fan of the Johnstone's Paint Trophy � copyright : Blades Sports Photography
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Craig Alcock has warned his Sheffield United team mates they will be making a grave mistake if they disregard the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy, writes James Shield.

Alcock, a member of the Peterborough team which won the competition last season, was speaking ahead of tonight’s second round tie at Hartlepool.

“Every footballer wants a medal and it also looks great on your CV,” he told The Star. “To be part of a team that won something is what we all want.

“It is certainly nicer than being part of a team that struggles. Not many can say they have played at Wembley.

“Many a better player than me won’t have played there so I know what it means. The experience was brilliant and I think it is a great competition for the lower leagues, especially later on when everything really kicks in.”

United, who received a bye in the previous round, visit Victoria Park (kick-off 7pm) hoping to recover from last weekend’s controversial defeat at Chesterfield. Although manager Nigel Clough has vowed to treat the tournament with the utmost respect - “Every time we set foot on the pitch we take it seriously” - he is poised to make a number of changes to United’s starting eleven with the likes of Diego De Girolamo, Chris Porter and Stephen McGinn set to take part.

Alcock, who joined United three months ago, will be watching from the stands after being granted a rest ahead of Saturday’s League One encounter against Leyton Orient.

He added “Having had the experience of winning the JPT, I would love to do it again. You go into every game, regardless of the competition, wanting to win and we are no different.

“You want to go as far as you can, like Sheffield United did last year in the FA Cup. Build up that same momentum.”

*Twitter: @JamesShield1