Blades to go on the attack at Old Trafford

Nigel Adkins manager of Sheffield Utd
Nigel Adkins manager of Sheffield Utd
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Nigel Adkins believes his team have an obligation to attack Manchester United when they visit Old Trafford in the FA Cup.

The Sheffield United manager, whose side face the 11 time winners on Saturday evening, made the admission despite acknowledging that attempting to gain promotion from League One remains their primary objective this term.

With eighth-placed United scheduled to face fellow Championship hopefuls Wigan only 72 hours after the third round tie, Adkins told The Star: “The FA Cup is important and we’ve got a great fixture coming-up.

We’ve had to rearrange the Wigan game, which was postponed on Boxing Day, for the Tuesday afterwards and it’s a big ask for the supporters, especially just after Christmas and New Year, to travel away.

“We are well aware, acutely aware in fact, of that. So, from the players’ point of view and our point of view as staff, we’ve just got to work as hard as we possibly can for those travelling fans. In both matches.”

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United, who are expected to enjoy a near 9,000 strong following against Louis van Gaal’s men, reached the semi-finals of the competition two seasons ago and Adkins, conceding United face a herculean task to beat European football’s third most costliest squad, added: “We’ve got nothing to lose. It’s a mouthwatering fixture. Our priority is the league but it’s a game where, the expectation is, that we can go there and enjoy it.

“Yes, it’s going to be tough. We know that. But we have the freedom to be able to try and give it a real go. So that’s what we’ll be trying to do.”

Adkins, meanwhile, could decide whether Marc McNulty remains at Portsmouth until the end of the season later this week.

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The centre-forward has scored six goals since moving to Fratton Park on loan with Adkins previously insisting United have no interest in allowing him to depart on a permanent basis.

“He’s under contract here for another couple of years and we think he’s a very talented footballer,” Adkins, speaking in November, said. “It’s a good chance to go out, play some games and score some goals. But he’s still a Sheffield United player and I am not looking to sell him.”