Sheffield United vs. Crawley Town
Updated Tuesday, 5th February 2013
Sheffield United entertain Crawley Town tonight as the Blades attempt to register there first league win since Boxing Day.
Scunthorpe United 3-0, since then they have sucummed to three home defeats in a row; including the 2-1 defeat by Coventry City last Friday night. United thought they had drawn the match level when Dave Kitson headed home in the second half to cancel out Leon Clarke's first time effort but the former Sheffield Wednesday striker pounced again to net the winner and leave United clinging onto that last play-off spot.
Sheffield United boss Danny Wilson told BBC Radio Sheffield: "Everyone was massively disappointed with the performance that we put in for the first 45 minutes on Friday. I've got no idea where that came from. We're always looking for players and if we can find anything that is better than what we've got then we do our best to make it happen. We can't say we are a young side because we have a lot of experienced players and we have to cope with the pressure. If you offered me a play-off spot now I wouldn't take it. I still think we can get automatic promotion."
Blades boss Danny Wilson without striker Shaun Miller (cruciate knee ligament), meanwhile keeper Mark Howard (thigh) and defender Lescinel Jean-Francois (knee) have returned to training but are unlikely to see first team action soon. Whilst fellow defender Matt Hill (broken jaw) is also ruled out and expected to return to training at the beginning of March and Marcus Williams (illness) missed the trip to Meadow Lane last weekend, Darryl Westlake is likely to continue in that role.
Crawley Town lay thirteenth in the League One table following a 1-1 home draw with Swindon Town last Saturday. It was a tale of two penalties as both sides netted from spot kicks, first former Sheffield United loan striker Billy Clarke (23) found the net before the Robins replied with there penalty; Adam Rooney (59) leveling the score. It was the Red Devils fourth fixture in all competitions without a win.
Crawley manager Richie Barker told BBC Sussex and Surrey: "I think the fact ourselves and Swindon are challenging for promotion again [after coming up last season] proves that if you get your recruitment right, and run your club the right way, there is no reason why you can't progress. It's more difficult than people think it is though. It doesn't matter to me whether it's Paolo di Canio or Joe Bloggs sat in the other dug-out. I've been fortunate enough in a short period of time to have managed against [Michael] Laudrup and Sven Goran Eriksson and people like that, which is great. But once the game starts it doesn't make any difference and I'll be ensuring I won't be getting involved in any of his antics. Someone told me the last three games between us have all finished 3-0 to them. To be honest I thought they were excellent at their ground, a top side with some top players, so it won't be easy."
Town boss Ritchie Barker included new signings; Mustapha Dumbuya and Jamie Proctor to make there debut last weekend whilst trio Connor Essam, Jimmy Spencer and goalkeeper Jonny Maddison.
Blades-Mad Prediction: Sheffield United 2-1 Crawley Town