Sheffield United: Oliver Norwood comes out fighting
Oliver Norwood is convinced Sheffield United will prove the doubters wrong by securing a place in the Premier League.
Chris Wilder's team enters tomorrow's game against Nottingham Forest third in the table, three points behind second-placed Leeds, with four matches of the season remaining.
But after being held to a draw by Millwall last weekend, a result which saw Marcelo Bielsa's strengthen their grip on the Championship's final automatic promotion berth, United found themselves charged with blowing their chance of reaching the top-flight.
Norwood, the Northern Ireland international, insists they have done nothing of the sort and revealed United's players are used to being written-off by the media and fellow professionals alike.
"I definitely feel good about this," he said. "Everyone has written us off all season. I do not think we have been outside the play-offs since September but people say, ‘They don’t deserve to be there’. Or that we will fall away.
"It is funny then that we are third, and three points off second. Everyone wrote us off again last weekend, we are used to it."
"I don’t care what people think about us," Norwood added. "It is a siege mentality. It is just noise.
"I do not care about the opinion on Twitter of John, who is 45 and still lives at home with his mum. It is completely irrelevant.
"I have seen it all in my time. Compliments, and the negativity when you draw or lose. It is what it is. Part of football."
With Billy Sharp and Chris Basham both nursing hamstring injuries and John Egan suspended, United will be forced to name an unfamiliar starting eleven against the visitors from the City Ground.
Although he admitted Leeds and leaders Norwich City are now in control of their own destiny, Norwood, who has achieved promotion in each of the past two seasons, said: "We cannot worry about Leeds or Norwich. And they cannot worry about us. If you start doing that, you will be off your game.
"They are the only things that matter to Sheffield United. Take care of our business."
"If Leeds win every game from now until the end of the season, then congratulations to them," Norwood, who helped Fulham win last season's play-offs after going straight-up with Brighton, added,
"But, for us, we are not giving up. We are fighting and you will see that."