RUFC - Q & A with a Blade!
Rotherham United take on Sheffield United tomorrow night at Don Valley and we found Jack a Blades fan who kindly answered some questions for us ...
How long have you been following the Blades?
I have been following the Blades pretty much from when I can remember. There wasn't much of a choice in my family. I was born in London but my dad grew up in Sheffield so a lot of my childhood was spent on the M1 getting up to Sheffield for home matches and various other roads for away matches
Can you remember the first game you saw the Blades involved in?
I remember the first game I went to at Bramall Lane. It was in the 95/96 season against Crystal Palace and unsurprisingly we lost but it was an absolute thriller! I seem to remember the game heading for a draw until Dean Gordon scored an absolute thunderbolt. My first away match was at Kenilworth Road and all I remember of it was that it was bitterly cold. We lost again 1-0 I think
Who is the best player you've ever seen in a Blades shirt?
The best player I have ever seen in a Blades shirt has to be Phil Jagielka. He could play absolutely anywhere but his best position was by far and away centre back. In our Premier League season he was awesome and was a massive reason for our success. The loss of the final game to Wigan was much down to Warnock moving him from centre back to full back. Incidentally, he also pulled off one of the greatest saves I have ever seen. With Paddy Kenny sent off Jags had to fill the void. While shaping to dive the other way the ball took a deflection and Jags managed to quickly move his body in the other direction, put his hand on the ball and stop it on the goal line
What are your thoughts on Danny Wilson?
In my eyes Danny Wilson was a surprise and disappointing appointment from the start. At a time where Blades fans needed something to get excited about McCabe just put the backs up even more. No doubt he is a proven manager at this level and he did very with Swindon to begin with but I have to say the jury is still out on him. After a strong start to the season (mainly against the lesser teams of league one) the last few weeks have seen the Blades lose 3 out of the last four games. Although Wilson has brought a much more passing style to the Lane, the team seems to lack the organisation and mental strength to be there or thereabouts in the automatic promotion places
Who should we be looking out for on Tuesday night?
I think with it being the Johnstone's Paint Trophy it is hard to tell what team will be put out. I'm sure Wilson will use it to blood a lot of youngsters. Harry Maguire is very much the academy golden boy from the FA youth Cup final team that were so successful last season, but after a few jaded performances of late I wouldn't be surprised if he was rested. Another player who is likely to feature would be Mike Flynn. He has had a disappointing start to the season after a move down from Scotland that had much promise and expectation surrounding it. After being omitted from the United first team plans for the last couple of weeks his introduction on Saturday seemed to display a great fire in his belly and his skill in taking on players down the wing was refreshing to see in a team that lacks width. If he can carry this on I'm sure he can cause problems tomorrow night
Being near neighbours (probably nearer than us Millers would like!) what sort of welcome are you expecting at Don Valley?
I always think of the Rotherham Sheffield United relationship as one not of hostility but more of respect. With Rotherham now being based in Sheffield I know of a few Blades that count them as their second team. Apart from the usual banter flying to and throw from any away and home fans. I'm sure there will not be too many problems
ED Note - I agree with this and was amazed when the Police insisted it had to be an All Ticket game
Have you been to any other Millers v Blades games?
I can't remember the last Millers Blades game I watched live. However, I do remember a match once being on telly where we went two-nil up and were dominating and miraculously you brought it back to two-two with a goal from former Blade Rob Scott (maybe). With two of my mates at uni being Bradford fans I have been to Rotherham Bradford for the last two seasons. I remember two seasons ago it was a great match. Bradford conceded a last minute penalty of which Le Fondre stuck in the back of the net and then Bradford went up the other end and scored with the last kick of the game
How far do you think you can go in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy?
The Johnstone's Paint Trophy surely has to take second place to the league this season and I can't see it being much more than an avenue to blood youngsters. However, being a newly relegated team you will always fancy your chances against the other teams in the competition. I reckon we could get quite far but to be honest it is not high on my priorities
Will you be in the Championship next year, or still in League One?
At the start of the season I believed play-offs was the best we could hope for. After an amazing start in the first seven games I was given false optimism and dared to believe (being a Blade I should have known better). I now still think we will finish 4th or 5th and then due to our record in the play-offs heartbreakingly lose in the final
Thanks for taking time out to do this for us Jack and here's hoping you finish the season as you started it!
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