Former England striker Dion Dublin has backed Sheffield United to once again enjoy a run in the Capital One Cup after the Blades’ remarkable exploits last time around.
A late strike from Tottenham Hotspur’s Christian Eriksen ended the League One outfit’s dreams of reaching Wembley at the semi-final stage in January.
And while the former Aston Villa and Coventry City striker was surprised to see Nigel Clough sacked after they lost in the play-off semi-finals, Dublin has backed new boss Nigel Adkins to oversee another Capital One Cup run after they were draw away to Morecambe in the first round.
Dublin said: “Sheffield United have, on previous occasions, surprised a few people with some of their results and performances and when you start to look at the latter stages, especially in the Capital One Cup, they can sometimes fly under the radar. I think they’ll have a good run in this competition.
“Everyone wants promotion but a run in a cup competition can be as rewarding financially and for the fans as well.
“Nigel [Clough] has taken that club to the next level and put a smile back on the faces of the fans again. I think a lot of people were surprised to see him go because I think they have turned a corner.
“Nigel Adkins is so experienced, he’s been round the block and knows a lot of footballers in the game, knows a lot of managers and in order to take Sheffield United forward he’s got all the knowledge you could want.”
With the potential prize of top-flight opposition in round two, there is no shortage of motivation for the Blades to once again clear the first hurdle.
But Dublin believes there is much more to gain from a run in the competition than just a lucrative cup tie.
He added: “I’m hoping we can get some more excitement as we have had over the past few years, and there are some interesting fixtures.
“This is a great opportunity for football clubs to make a name for themselves, get a bit of silverware and make a few quid as well, especially if you are a smaller club.
“Over the past few years the Capital One Cup has thrown up lots of surprises and lots of goals and it has unearthed a few little gems when it comes to footballers.
“If you get a good run in the Capital One Cup it can escalate the progress of your football club on its own, and that’s what they’ll be looking to do – nick a scalp, nick a few quid and nick some silverware.
“If you play well in the cup competitions, and start building that little bit of consistency, then winning becomes a habit. Having a good run and building confidence is huge for players. It’s not a competition that anyone is going to overlook.”
Dion Dublin was speaking following the Capital One Cup Round 1 Draw on behalf of Capital One – the credit card in your corner. Visit facebook.com/CapitalOneUK