For Sheffield United, they would have just been happy with a win. Chris Wilder wouldn’t have cared how it came in the FA Cup, the fact that they conceded two goals against a League One side or the fact that it wasn’t the best of performances, a win is a win.
After a miserable start to the season in an even more miserable second half to 2020, the Blades need a sense of achievement. In the FA Cup, they can get that, and should look to push all their resources and thought to the world’s oldest competition.
The FA Cup Can Bring Some Glory for Sheffield United
A Comeback in the Premier League is an Unlikely Mission
A resurrection in their league form leading to survival would be a true miracle for the Blades. It would arguably be a bigger fairytale than Leicester City’s title in 2016; a journey against all odds when all hope was lost.
Survival is unlikely, and that is of no disrespect to Chris Wilder’s men. They are yet to win after 17 games and face Tottenham, Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea in their next six games. Their Premier League dream is, sadly, virtually gone.
However, their dream of success still this season is not. Although the FA Cup is their last chance saloon, the opportunity is there, and failing to take it would be the biggest failure of the season.
Yes, it was only a narrow win over Bristol Rovers, but the win gives them confidence. Wilder won’t ignore the chances that it gives them, as shown by his full-strength side picked at the Memorial Stadium.
Speaking after the game, the United boss hinted at how the cup can give his side confidence. He said: “The consequences of not getting a result today would have really impacted on the group. The players have taken a lot.
“Everybody in the country would have sniffed this. Every expert, pundit and supporter wouldn’t have been surprised if we had been turned over today. But there was a good attitude.”
Attitudes against Sheffield United have changed. Last season they were every football fans second favourite team due to their boldness and bravery. This season they are laughed and frowned upon due to their terrible form.
In the FA Cup, though, that could all be about to change.
A Real Chance for a Trophy
The world’s oldest competition now offers Sheffield United the chance for a trophy. Of course, the draw has to be favourable for them, but after drawing Plymouth Argyle at home in the fourth round, you have to consider them firm favourites.
Wilder will show Plymouth the same respect as Bristol Rovers. There is no reason, with league safety virtually impossible, why the Blades boss won’t take the game against Plymouth seriously. The third round win was for confidence, but now it is time to take the competition seriously.
A knockout competition is, of course, a series of possibilities. But if they beat Plymouth they will then face Millwall or Bristol City, another game where the Blades will be the favourites and play their first-team.
Now is a huge chance for Chris Wilder’s side and it would be a shame if they did not take it.
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