Sheffield United: Blades warned to expect hot FA Cup reception

Stefan Scougall
Stefan Scougall

Sheffield United have been told to brace themselves for a “blood and thunder” battle against Crewe Alexandra, writes James Shield.

The two teams meet in the FA Cup first round this afternoon only a fortnight after Stefan Scougall scored the only goal of a combative League One contest at Gresty Road.

And, as Nigel Clough’s side prepare to return to Cheshire, his opposite number Steve Davis said: “We owe them a performance. We have got a decent record against them in the past although we lost the last game in which they were the better team if I’m honest.

“If we can perform that little bit better and cause them a few more problems in the final third then who knows, it’s a one off game. Hopefully it will be blood and thunder.”

United reached the semi-finals of the competition last term and face Southampton in the Capital One Cup quarter-finals next month.

Davis said: “I want it to be that type of game where we give everything that we’ve got. Whoever plays, that what’s I expect of them.

“The FA Cup is a great experience and I’m sure the young players who play at the weekend will remember it fondly, win or lose.

“They reached the semi-finals last season and are in the quarters of the Capital One so they have good history in the cups and, because of that, we expect a tough game.

“We have already played them in the league and will be trying to turn those fortunes around. We’ll be looking to spring a few surprises tactically.”

Davis, who managed Northwich Victoria and Nantwich Town before succeeding Dario Gradi, added: “Having been a non-league manager, getting to the first round is exciting. You hope to get a league club so that you can make some money and I’ve seen both sides.

“We hoped that we would get a non-league club because it is the FA Cup and it’s nice to go somewhere you’ve never been or play someone you’ve never played before as part of the club’s history. But it wasn’t to be.”

*Twitter: @JamesShield1