Sheffield United boss Nigel Clough has warned South Yorkshire rivals Barnsley that his side will not crumble under pressure as the race for League One promotion enters its final straight.
United, without a win in five games, remain fifth in the table following Tuesday night’s 1-1 draw at Walsall - a place and a point ahead of Lee Johnson’s Reds, who have won six of their last seven.
But Saturday’s home clash against Port Vale is the first of three successive games at Bramall Lane and Clough believes United will not get distracted by events they cannot control.
“All we are focusing on is ourselves,” the Blades boss said.
“We don’t need to remind the players that, because they also know it is in our own hands.
“We have a game in hand and we’re fifth in the table with 10 games to go. We’re not interested in what’s going on behind us or around us.
“All we are interested in is what we do. Because that’s what counts.”
Clough confirmed that he has made loan inquiries for three players and admitted he would continue “chasing them”.
Clough and Reds boss Johnson have a huge amount of mutual respect for each other, having worked together at Derby County. The two teams clash at Oakwell on April 4 and Clough said: “No-one gained on us on Tuesday and it’s another difficult away game out of the way.
“There are ten games to go, we’re still in the top six and we’ll settle for being there at the end of the season. We’re not exactly where we wanted to be at this stage of the season - we wanted to be closer to the top two - but we’re confident enough in ourselves to know that we have got enough quality and spirit to be in those play-off positions.”