Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder believes the presence of Harry Maguire and Jamie Vardy in Leicester City’s squad will make it even tougher for his team to win tonight’s FA Cup fifth round tie.
Maguire, the former United defender, and Vardy, a Sheffield Wednesday fan, are both hoping to face Wilder’s team at the King Power Stadium.
Believing their upbringing in the region has shaped the England duo’s games, Wilder said: “You’ll always find that with Sheffield people, be it be here or elsewhere at other clubs, they always give their all. They’ll want to get through and for their own personal pride as well. There’s an opportunity for them to lift a trophy,. They’ll be desperate to win. Harry will want to do well and Jamie, from the other side of the city, also.”
Despite acknowledging City’s Premier League status and results under new manager Claude Puyel means United enter the tie as underdogs, Wilder added: “We’d love to continue in the competition. There’s a set of players who want to do well. There’s a lot of positivity. Just the general feel here, whenever these boys pull on the shirt, they don’t want to go through the back door. We’ve worked hard to create that culture, be it here or with the under-23’s.
“We’ve worked extremely hard to get that. We’ve got to find a way to win. Of course, they are the favourites. But we’ve got just as much desire to go through.”
The match comes 28 years after Wilder, then a United player, helped the club gain promotion to Division One with a 5-2 win at City’s old Filbert Street ground.
“I’ve got loads of memories,” he said. “As we went to the game, we could see all the people outside of the pubs. One of the most ridiculous goals ever where it was pinging around the box for what seemed like 10 minutes. Tony (Agana) scoring and having to tell all the people to get off the pitch. Getting back to Bramall Lane was brilliant too. That was a tough few weeks. It was hard work. Getting out of the car park and across the Josephine’s was hard work, let me tell you.”