Sheffield United: Why Mark Duffy will resist the temptation to give the people what they want

Given that the overwhelming majority of his six goals this season have been spectacular finishes, Mark Duffy understands why supporters and coaching staff alike implore him to shoot more often.

By James Shield
Wednesday, 24 April, 2019, 12:41
Mark Duffy will carry on playing the same way: James Wilson/Sportimage

But the Sheffield United midfielder, who earlier this week laughed at suggestions he would find it impossible to score a five yard tap-in, is not about to start taking hopeful potshots if selected to face Ipswich Town on Saturday afternoon.

"What we've got to do is just keep playing the way we are doing, as individuals and a group, and see if we can lift it a little bit more," Duffy said, ahead of a game which could see United open up a six points gap over Leeds in third with only two matches of the season remaining. "That's what we've been doing and that's what has got us to where we are at the moment.

"If people sit in, which has been happening quite a bit, then we've got to stick to the plan and not get frustrated. Just trust in the process of what we do." United's ability to adhere to Chris Wilder's tactical masterplan, under extreme pressure and scrutiny, has helped them wrestle control of the race for an automatic promotion spot away from Elland Road in recent weeks.

Although they overwhelmed Hull City during Monday's derby at the KCOM Stadium - scoring all of their goals in a 3-0 win before the interval - Duffy cited the victory over Nottingham Forest 72 hours earlier as an example of the importance of following instructions.

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After being reduced to 10 men early on, Martin O'Neill's players were content to concede possession and suffocate United's attacking instincts until Duffy broke the deadlock with a memorable long-range finish. Enda Stevens, who was also on target in East Yorkshire, doubled United's advantage during the closing stages.

“We felt we were moving Forest from side to side, we were just one pass away from getting in, there were a few last-ditch tackles going in," he said. “So it was a case of just building the momentum. We were kicking towards The Kop, just kept going, keep building and didn't get uptight.

"We believed it was going to come and thankfully it did." United's display against Forest could provide the perfect template for this weekend's fixture against opponents whose relegation to League One was confirmed earlier this month.

"The mistakes Forest made came as a result of us building constant pressure and asking questions," Duffy said. "That shows why it's important to always try and be positive."