Irvine wary of Blades threat

Last updated : 24 October 2008 By Jamie Furniss

In a brand new feature on Blades Mad, we provide you with the opposing managers previews and see what their thoughts ahead of the game are. This time, former Everton assistant manager Alan Irvine brings his Preston troops over the Pennines to compete in the Championship clash.

Irvine knows how much a big factor the Bramall Lane crowd can play on match days, and, he is determined to keep the 20 odd thousand Unitedites quiet during the 90 minutes.

He said: "It's vitally important we try to keep them quiet (the crowd). They're a huge factor, there's no doubt about it. I've played there and I've been there as a coach and an assistant manager and I know that if you let them get going then the crowd get behind them and it is a very hostile place play.

"Having said that, it's a great place to play, as a player you should always enjoy going to big stadiums where the crowds are up for the game and where there is going to be a terrific atmosphere.

"If I was playing it would certainly be one that I would be looking forward to. They've a lot of good lads, Gary Naysmith, Gary Speed, James Beattie and Keith Gillespie, lads who are well known to me, good professionals and good players. I'm looking forward to seeing them but I hope that they are not happy at the end of the game.

"The derby game was affected quite badly by the sending off but I still saw a lot about Sheffield United, they are a good side, they are full of Premiership experience, they have a lot of quality in the team, they are a powerful team it will be a very tough game.

"Bramall Lane is always a hard place to go and I don't expect anything different this time."