Harry Maguire has described today’s South Yorkshire derby with Rotherham United as ‘more than just a game,’ writes James Shield.
And despite their reputation for passing football, the Sheffield United centre-half warned David Weir’s side are ready to match fire with fire if Steve Evans’ charges adopt a strong-arm approach.
“There’s no point in saying derbies are just the same as any other game because they’re not,” Maguire told The Star. “Yes, there are three points at stake but also plenty more than that.
“I’ve grown up at this football club, I’ve come through the ranks and I live in the area so I know what these matches mean.
“There’s going to be a full house there, a great atmosphere and we want to be the ones who go home happy. I’ve got mates who are Rotherham and I want to have my head held high when I see them. We know our fans are the same.”
Maguire added: “It’s going to be intense and we’re equipped for it.
“What we’ve got to do is win our personal battles when it’s fast and furious. Especially in the first 20 minutes. Then impose our game.”
United are missing George Long, Sean McGinty and Jasper Johns due to international call-ups while Michael O’Connor and Kari Arnason are absent for the hosts.
Evans said: “Perhaps Sheffield United will think they’ve got us at a good time because of our depleted squad but when we group together and have our fans behind us in that stadium, then we stand a chance of winning.
“We’ve to make sure we put our heart and soul into the game but play with our heads not our hearts. If we do win then I’d consider it the best win of my time here all things considered.
“What I do know is that it will be a great atmosphere and both sets of fans will love it.”