The biggest match of the season, at the division’s most prestigious venue against its most iconic name.
Scunthorpe manager Graham Alexander has made no attempt to downplay either the setting or the significance of Sunday’s visit to Sheffield United. But, he explained earlier this week, that audacious approach reveals plenty about the character of his promotion chasing team.
“We are desperate for three points to give us the opportunity to get into the play-offs,” Alexander said. “We are going to Sheffield United, possibly the biggest club in the division, playing at Bramall Lane, probably the best venue in the division and it is the last game of the regular season so it adds up to a fantastic game to be involved in.
“All the players are looking forward to it and I am sure the supporters that travel with us will be looking forward to it as well.”
Alexander, who progressed through the ranks at Glanford Park before taking charge earlier this year, has good reason to believe his faith in Scunthorpe’s mental fortitude is not misplaced. While United’s hopes of securing a play-off berth were dashed by Coventry City last weekend, a run of five straight wins means Scunthorpe make the short journey south level on points with sixth-placed Barnsley.
“The belief is there that we can do it and I don’t think you put together five wins on the bounce if you don’t believe,” Alexander said. “We looked to be out the picture but we had a belief that we could achieve and I think the results have born that out.
“We haven’t had each game our own way and we have had to play different ways and have different mindsets to find a way to win.
“It has been one step at a time. When we were 10 points adrift we talked about the pride of the last six games and finishing the season in a positive fashion. Whatever happens we have done that but we want to take it that little bit further.”