Sheffield United: Danny targets long Blades stay

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NEW arrival Danny Higginbotham has set his sights on securing a long-term contract at Sheffield United.

The defender, who can operate at centre-half or left-back, is in line to make his second appearance for United when they travel to Oxford United in the third round of the FA Cup this weekend.

The 34-year-old is likely to partner Harry Maguire at the heart of the Blades rearguard, having made his debut in the thrilling 2-2 draw with Doncaster Rovers on New Year’s Day. Maguire missed the South Yorkshire derby because of a one-match ban.

Higginbotham, a free transfer acquisition from Stoke City, is set to remain with Danny Wilson’s men until the end of the 2012/13 campaign.

When asked whether he would be interested in extending his stay, he replied: “Without a doubt. It is not every day you get an opportunity to play for a club like United, it is a massive club. The opportunity is there but it is up to me. I am looking forward to playing every game and being part of a successful team.”

Higginbotham regards United, who are second in the League One standings after 26 outings, as a “sleeping giant” and is desperate to the help them climb out of the third tier.

“Promotion is our ambition,” said Higginbotham “This club is a sleeping giant. When you’re taking 4,000 or 5,000 fans to away games like United did to Doncaster, you get carried away with the passion of the fans. It was similar at Stok. It drives you on.

“The club is in a great position and got some very good players.”

Manchester-born Higginbotham says the fans can play a big part in helping United achieve their objectives. “There were 20,000 plus fans at Bramall Lane on Boxing Day; that is more than some Premier League or Championship teams get,” he said.