Sheffield United: Make it a double

In form: Matt Hill played his best game for United against Stevenage.
In form: Matt Hill played his best game for United against Stevenage.
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MATT Hill insists his sights are trained solely on helping Sheffield United achieve success at Wembley.

But the on-loan defender can be forgiven for casting a glance towards HA9 later today when his parent club Blackpool go head to head with West Ham in the Championship play-off final.

“It would be nice to be involved with two clubs getting promoted,” Hill, who is expected to start next weekend’s League One showpiece with Huddersfield Town, said.

“I’m at United and so for now I’m fully focused on getting this team to the Championship.

“However, it’s unbelievable to have both teams going down there.

“I just hope, fingers crossed, that we reach our goals.

“There’s no point in getting carried away at this stage.

“Winning is all that matters.”

Hill, preparing for his first appearance at the national stadium, has seduced Bramall Lane with his happy-go-lucky approach behind the scenes.

However, the 31-year-old’s sunny demeanour masks a fierce will to win.

United seemed destined to clinch automatic promotion when Hill joined United two months ago until a 2-2 draw with Stevenage – who they later beat to set up a mouth-watering clash with Simon Grayson’s side – effectively surrendered the runners-up berth.

“We knew after that result we’d possibly have to go via the play-offs,” Hill said.

“Mentally, we got our heads around it straight away and I think we’ve shown that we are up and ready.

“It’s going to be a big occasion and there would be no better way of going up than winning at Wembley.

“Personally it would be fantastic.

“Nobody has ever sulked or moped and that’s been key.

“We’ve shown great character and heart, a real will to win.”

By a strange twist of fate it was a meeting between Blackpool and West Ham earlier this term which prompted Hill’s departure from Bloomfield Road.

“There’s a big squad at Blackpool and

we played a really big game against West Ham,” he said.

“Unfortunately we lost 4-0 and I was one of the guys on the chopping board afterwards.

“It’s one of those things.

“The manager makes a decision and from there on I wasn’t involved so I’m really grateful to get this opportunity to play.”

“When you are not involved and not a lot is happening you start to question yourself,” Hill added.

“You start thinking ‘what is next’ and stuff like that.

“I’m really thankful that Sheffield United brought me in and I want to keep on improving.”

Hill marked his 15th appearance for Danny Wilson’s team by delivering arguably his best performance in United colours during Monday’s semi-final second leg against Stevenage.

Indeed, minutes before Chris Porter netted the only goal of a tense two-legged tussle, Hill had seen a vicious 35-yard shot flash inches wide.

“As well as joy there was a lot of relief,” Hill said. “A lot of people expected us to beat Stevenage at home but we knew it would be really difficult.

“We’ve been unfortunate with certain things.

“Richard Cresswell would have been involved and possibly would have started but had to withdraw at the last moment with an eye infection.So, in difficult circumstances, we’ve shown really good character.

“Everyone has contributed and played their part.”