Sheffield United: How thrashing Fulham could affect play-off semi-final against Nottingham Forest

Beating Fulham, the newly crowned champions of the Championship, should instil Sheffield United with confidence ahead of their play-off semi-final against Nottingham Forest.

Sunday, 8th May 2022, 1:00 pm
Updated Monday, 9th May 2022, 7:57 am

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Paul Heckingbottom’s side will face Forest, the division’s most in-form team over the past two months, at Bramall Lane on Saturday before visiting the City Ground three days later.

Although United have been in impressive form themselves of late, climbing from 16th to 5th since Heckingbottom’s appointment in November, the 44-year-old hopes the manner of their victory over Marco Silva’s men will convince them they are capable of dashing Forest’s promotion dream and reaching May 29th’s showpiece at Wembley Stadium.

“It reinforces the belief,” Heckingbottom said, after watching United round-off their regular season schedule with an emphatic 4-0 win. “We already know we’ve got good players. But that should really prove to them what, when they are at their best, they are capable of. And that’s what we are going to have to be at again - our best. We know that.”

Fulham travelled to South Yorkshire on the back of a 7-0 thrashing of Luton Town, who face Huddersfield Town in the other semi-final; the 11th time they netted four or more goals in a competitive fixture last term. But after falling behind to Morgan Gibbs-White’s early strike, the Londoners were unable to keep United at bay; Iliman Ndiaye, Sander Berge and Enda Stevens also finding the back of the net whist, at the other end of the pitch, Wes Foderingham kept his 18th clean sheet of the campaign.

“We’ve got even bigger games coming up now, even more at stake,” Heckingbottom said. “Great.”

Morgan Gibbs-White and Sheffield United face Nottingham Forest next: Simon Bellis / Sportimage
Sheffield United manager Paul Heckingbottom says 'let's hear it for the boys' following his team's win over Fulham: Danny Lawson/PA Wire.
Sander Berge of Sheffield United celebrates his goal against Fulham: Simon Bellis / Sportimage