Our Sheffield United blogger, Jason King, looks ahead to a vital part of the season for the Blades.
Connor Coady netted for Sheffield United for the 2nd game running as the Blades made it 4 wins from 4 by beating Gillingham on Wednesday evening.
The highly rated Liverpool loanee’s deal runs out next Monday and Nigel Clough will be doing all he can to ensure the England Under 20 captain stays at Bramall Lane until the end of the season.
The games are coming thick and fast for the Blades as they can go five points clear of the relegation zone at the weekend against relegation rivals Bristol City.
This is a vital part of the season for United where they must take advantage of their games in hand.
Although Sheffield United’s starting XI on paper should be much higher in the table and competing for promotion this season.
And although not all blame should be laid at former manager David Weir’s door this is the first time we are starting to see a Sheffield United side with a real identity this season.
The players really seem to be enjoying themselves under Clough.
However, the reality is, even with Wembley in the offing, Sheffield United are still intertwined in a relegation battle and they must focus on their upcoming league games before dreaming of a Steel City Derby.
Like United, another underachieving club in League 1 is Saturday’s guests to Bramall Lane, Bristol City. The Robins will be hoping to secure their first win at Bramall Lane since 1957 to remain ahead of the Blades in the table.
A win on Saturday can injection a boast to either side as they will both be looking to climb away from the relegation zone.
With players such as Jay Emmanuel Thomas and Sam Baldock, you can be forgiven if you thought, along with United, that Bristol City would be at the opposite end of the table this season last summer.
Summer signing, Jay Emmanuel Thomas, who has scored 17 goals this season, has the ability to put any side to the sword, particularly when allowed to run at people.
Another major threat that the Robins possess is the pace of Sam Baldock, Harry Maguire will have to be very careful that he doesn’t leave much space in behind and will be relying on the full backs to fulfil their defensive duties.
As I mentioned in my previous two blogs, United have the opportunity to use their FA Cup run as a springboard to ensure their League 1 status.
This must start on Saturday and I am sure they can if the Blades can nullify the obvious threats from Bristol City they should run out comfortable winners on Saturday.
One thing is certain that this week’s tie is bound to serve up a goal feast for the supporters (That statement has all but guaranteed a dull, bore 0-0).
Let’s hope continue their great form to guarantee Bristol City will have to make the long trip West empty handed.