MICKY Adams has warned Leeds not to dismiss his Sheffield United side as ‘no-hopers’ during today’s Yorkshire derby at Bramall Lane.
United enter this afternoon’s contest (kick-off 1pm) six points adrift of safety in the Championship table and boasting just one victory from their previous 17 games.
FOLLOW THE ACTION LIVE ON THE STAR’S MATCH CENTRE - RETURN HERE FOR DETAILS.
That miserable record, combined with the absence of several key players, means fifth-placed Leeds are regarded by many neutral observers as near certainties to win.
But Adams said: “Everyone who talks about our situation has being telling us that we’ve got no chance. But that’s something I reckon we can exploit.
“We’ve shown that we can raise our game on the big occasion. We showed that by beating (Nottingham) Forest at our place not so long ago.
“The Leeds supporters will be coming here expecting their lads to turn us over. They’ll be expecting to come through okay.
“Well, we’ve shown before it’s not as easy as that.”
United host Simon Grayson’s side missing suspended duo Darius Henderson and Lee Williamson, while Austrian defender Johannes Ertl has joined Chris Morgan, Andy Taylor and Richard Wright in the treatment room after injuring a knee during Tuesday’s totesport.com league fixture with Forest.
However, Bjorn Helge Riise and Matthew Lowton could feature after returning to training on Thursday following injury.
Adams said: “This is hugely important for both teams. There’s pressure associated with both situations.
“They’re looking to go up and we are looking to stay up. So I’d imagine that, for both of us, it’s going to be a pretty tense affair. That’s only natural when it comes to this stage of the season.”
But Adams dismissed suggestions the number of former Leeds players, including Neill Collins, Shane Lowry and Richard Cresswell, within his squad will give the contest an extra edge. The 49-year-old, who represented Leeds during his own playing days, added: “I can’t speak for them but it won’t make any difference to me. I’m not out there on the pitch.
“There’s no mixed feelings on my part. We need a win and I’ll be doing everything I can to tryt o beat them.”
Meanwhile, United will unveil a suite named in honour of former England international Tony Currie before the match.
Currie, a legendary figure at Bramall Lane, will be joined by wife Liz and ex-teammate Len Badger at the event designed to celebrate a remarkable career which also included spells with today’s visitors and Queens Park Rangers.
Currie said: “I’m absolutely thrilled, and I couldn’t think of a better game to mark its official opening than this one.”