Sheffield United are told: 'This is how you beat Millwall'
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With Stuart McCall believing the presence of a large travelling support will diminish the influence of the notoriously partisan home fans, United’s assistant manager admitted it is vital the visitors impose themselves on the fixture straight from kick-off.
“You get on the ball, that’s what you do, and you take the sting out of it,” McCall said. “You put on a positive, front foot performance. That way, you take the sting out of it and make sure you can play your way, not their way.”
Sixteenth in the table when McCall returned to Bramall Lane following Paul Heckingbottom’s appointment three months ago, United climbed to sixth when they beat Blackburn Rovers on Wednesday night. The result, which saw Heckingbottom’s team depart for London unbeaten in nine outings and hoping to record a sixth consecutive clean sheet, also saw them move to within five points of second-placed AFC Bournemouth.
Reminding that Scott Parker’s men have played two games less than United, McCall continued: “To be honest, I’m not thinking of automatic. I’m not even thinking of anything other than the next challenge. Stay humble. That’s what I think. I understand why people are getting excited and great but, as players and staff, we just have to be a bit boring and only take things one match at a time.”
Although a spate of injuries has not stalled United’s momentum, Heckingbottom acknowledged earlier this week the fitness situation at the club “is becoming an issue” with Chris Basham, Enda Stevens, David McGoldrick, Jayden Bogle and Rhian Brewster among those set to miss this afternoon’s fixture. Charlie Goode, who was sent-off against Rovers, is also ruled-out through suspension.
Confirming United suffered no fresh casualties during that contest, McCall, a former United midfielder, said: “Millwall have got a few out as well, so they might not be able to make as many changes as they’d like.
“We’ve not got a lot of options. I don’t think Gary (Rowett, the Millwall manager) has either. We go through a lot of analysis. They will know what they are doing, the lads who are playing.”