Sheffield United: Blades are told to brace themselves for a Derby County backlash

Sheffield United have been told the financial crisis engulfing their latest opponents Derby County could have a galvanising effect upon Wayne Rooney’s squad, after the administrators entered Pride Park earlier this week.

Friday, 24th September 2021, 4:00 am

County, who are bottom of the table after being handed a 12 point deduction by the English Football League, face a further sanction by the governing body when an investigation into their accounting practices concludes.

Speaking ahead of tomorrow’s game at Bramall Lane, Rooney admitted he “probably wouldn’t” have accepted the job of leading the club if he had been aware of the situation behind the scenes.

Expressing sympathy for the situation County’s players and staff - both on and off the pitch - find themselves in, Slavisa Jokanovic noted how the visitors became only the second team to beat high-flying Stoke City this term soon after the full extent of their problems became known.

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Slavisa Jokanovic, the Sheffield United manager: Simon Bellis / Sportimage

“Their players and their coaches, they have shown they are ready to stand and fight,” the United manager said. “They have shown they are ready to stick together as a group and to stand up for their football club.

“We must be ready for that. But we will be because, although we are not in the same situation, we still want to do the same.”

“I can’t not provide solutions for football,” added Jokanovic, when asked if stricter rules regarding expenditure should be implemented by the EFL. “Obviously there can be an expensive price to pay but I don;t know what the right decision is. What I am totally focused on, however, is what is right for us and making sure we are ready.”

Wayne Rooney, the manager of Derby County: Alistair Langham / Sportimage