Sheffield United: Checkatrade Trophy win gives Walsall psychological advantage, says Saddlers boss
Walsall travel to Bramall Lane tonight to take on Sheffield United, holding a psyhcological edge over the Blades, according to Saddlers boss Jon Whitney.
There may be 14 places and 15 points between the two sides ahead of the rearranged League One clash, but Whitney has pointed to a victory for his side in Sheffield in the Checkatrade Trophy in early October as a reason why Walsall can be confident of taking points off United.
“They are a good team and they are 15 unbeaten now but over the last two months I think we are the only team to beat them," Whitney told the Express & Star“I know it was in the Checkatrade Trophy, but they still had some of the players who are going to be playing."
The United team that night featured first team regulars Simon Moore, John Fleck, Jack O’Connell, Chris Basham, Stefan Scougall, Matt Done and Mark Duffy, while Kieron Freeman and Paul Coutts came off the bench in the 2-1 win for the Saddlers.
“Psychologically, that is important for my players – we have been there and beaten them" added Whitney. "It was a really good performance on the night and we are looking for much of the same.
“I am quietly confident we can go and cause them a few problems – we can be quite dangerous.”
United boss Chris Wilder was a staunch critic of the Checkatrade Trophy, but he also had strong words for his players immediately following that reverse on October 4.
“It was a poor display and I don’t think we’ve turned up at all," Wilder said at the time. "It was a bit of the old Sheffield United out there. I’ve told them I can think whatever I think about the tournament, but that shouldn’t relay onto the players. We prepared for it the same as a league game but it looked as if it did relay onto the players because it was a really below par performance.”