QPR boss Steve McClaren ‘loves’ Sheffield United and is expecting ‘toughest’ test of the season at Bramall Lane 

QPR manager Steve McClaren and Sheffield United Manager Chris Wilder during the Sky Bet Championship match at Loftus Road Stadium, London. Robin Parker/Sportimage
QPR manager Steve McClaren and Sheffield United Manager Chris Wilder during the Sky Bet Championship match at Loftus Road Stadium, London. Robin Parker/Sportimage

Steve McClaren has been waxing lyrical about Sheffield United ahead of his QPR side’s trip to Bramall Lane on Saturday.

The Rs aren’t in bad form themselves after recovering from a poor start to the campaign to make a move up the Championship table to ninth and unbeaten in their last six.

However, despite that upturn in fortunes, McClaren is extremely wary of his team’s test in South Yorkshire.

United won 2-1 at Loftus Road early in the season, with goals from Billy Sharp and David McGoldrick.

“This game is probably one of the toughest ones of the season,” McClaren told the club’s official website. “They are doing so well and I love the way they play their football.”

And it appears that the latest addition to United’s squad is adding to a potentially sleepless night, with the former England manager admitting that Gary Madine’s arrival is a boost for the Blades.

“They have a great balance, good experience and goalscorers in their side – and they have added Gary Madine as well, who is a very good Championship player,” he added.

“He is perfect for what they do with two up front, and he will score goals. He will certainly make them stronger.”

McClaren went on to say that last week’s FA Cup defeat to Barnet is not likely to have an impact on United at the Lane this week.

“You can see clearly what their target is - they will be focusing on the playoffs and maintaining their challenge for the top two.

“They are in a great position for that. They had a dip last season but I don’t think that will be the case this time.”