Sheffield United: Morgan backs big game players

Joe Ironside has impressed this season says United manager Chris Morgan
Joe Ironside has impressed this season says United manager Chris Morgan
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Chris Morgan, the Sheffield United manager, has dismissed suggestions his team do not possess enough firepower to win the League One play-offs, writes James Shield.

Morgan, speaking ahead of tomorrow’s semi-final first-leg against Yeovil Town at Bramall Lane, was responding to claims their disappointing returns towards the end of the regular season represented cause for concern.

United have failed to find the back of the net since April 16 but Morgan said: “We’ve got talented lads here and lads who can score goals. Players who can score big goals in big games.

“The thing for me is that we know how to win big games. There are lads out there who respond to big crowds and big atmospheres.

“Look at our recent homes games against (fellow semi-finalists) Swindon and Brentford. I thought we were excellent then.

“That shows these lads know how to respond.”

Dave Kitson, Chris Porter and Jonathan Forte are all vying for places in Morgan’s starting eleven while the 35-year-old yesterday raised the possibility that Joe Ironside could again be handed a prominent role.

The teenage striker made his full senior debut during last weekend’s draw with Preston North End and Morgan said: “Big Joe has been excellent and he deserved to be in there.

“I thought he’s been great coming off the bench and when he came in he led the line well. I learned a lot about him out there.

“Everyone here has got something to offer, whether they are young or old.”

Morgan, whose team travel to Huish Park for the second-leg on Monday, added: “Big game players are the ones with guts when the pressure is on. Who want to take a pass under pressure if they’re a midfielder, get into the right areas as a striker or, for the defenders, do what it takes to get that block in.

“It’s not just about age. Youngsters like George (Long) and Harry (Maguire) fall into that bracket too because they’ve grown-up in it and shown those qualities and that attitude.”

*Twitter: JamesShield1