Sheffield United: Lane midfielder’s ‘final’ ultimatum to teammates

Combative midfielder: United ace Michael Doyle.
Combative midfielder: United ace Michael Doyle.
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MICHAEL Doyle is calling on Sheffield United to show more composure in the final third to avoid their stylish football going to waste.

Danny Wilson’s troops outplayed Coventry City for long periods in midweek but it took a late equaliser from Nick Blackman, his second in three appearances since joining the club, to ensure they drew 1-1 at the Ricoh Arena.

Wilson has challenged his midfielders, including Doyle, to score more goals this week to ease the pressure on United’s new-look strikeforce.

Doyle enjoyed pitting his wits against his former employers on Tuesday and claims United can take a number of positives from the performance.

The Blades skipper said: “I thought we played well at Coventry. They’ll want to be challenging. But, being honest, I’m not worrying about Coventry.

“That’s not my concern. I’m only bothered about us. We know that our first team is as good as anyone else in this division. It’s up to us to prove that.

“The young lads have made a good impression on us too. Really good. If anything, at Coventry, though, we could have been a little bit better with the final ball. If we had been, then we could have been three or so up at the break. We’ve been working on that since. But it was encouraging.”

If the bookmakers are to be believed, United will stroll to promotion this year and go up as champions. League One is perceived to be a weaker division now Charlton Athletic, Sheffield Wednesday and Huddersfield Town are no longer in it, but the combative Doyle has dismissed that theory.

“When you are a big club then, it’s easy to be tagged as favourites for promotion,” he said. “But, to be honest, it doesn’t really mean a thing because I think this season is going to be just as hard as the last. If not harder.

“People might look at the fact that there are some big names that have gone up and think it will be easy. It won’t.”

Having bowed out of the Capital One Cup at the first hurdle at the hands of Burton Albion, United have no midweek match. They welcome Bournemouth to Bramall Lane next Saturday looking to make it back-to-back home wins.

DID YOU KNOW? Of Doyle’s 73 appearances for United, just four have come from the substitutes bench. The Dubliner has formed a great understanding in the middle of the park with Kevin McDonald.