Doyle’s ready to tough it out

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MICHAEL Doyle has warned Sheffield United’s League One rivals not to regard his team-mates as a soft touch despite insisting they will try and pass their way towards promotion.

Danny Wilson’s side have won an army of admirers this season for refusing to employ long-ball tactics in a division notorious for the physical demands it places on players. And, despite acknowledging that “results rather than performances” must now be the priority, Doyle insisted United will not succumb to temptation and adopt a more direct approach.

Speaking ahead of today’s game against Oldham Athletic, the Irish midfielder said: “We’re going to stick to our beliefs. We won’t change at this stage.

“I don’t think it’s any surprise that we’ve scored quite a few late goals this season. We’ve passed the ball well and it’s very tiring when you’re trying to run around after it.

“That’s probably helped us to break a lot of opponents down when you look back.”

United, who are second in the table, moved five points clear of third-placed Sheffield Wednesday when Stephen Quinn scored an 82nd-minute winner against Scunthorpe earlier this week. But Doyle revealed suffering home defeats to Charlton and Huddersfield in September and October of last year had taught Wilson’s squad the importance of combining style with substance.

“We’ve got experienced players here and we’ve shown that we’ve got a competitive streak in us,” he added. “We’re not going to back down and we’ll standup for ourselves but without being dragged into reacting the wrong way.”