WIDE MEN CAN HURT HULL AND HELP MAKE HIS­TORY

The Football League Paper - - NEIL WARNOCK -

AS you read this, my old club Sh­effield United are get­ting ready to try and make his­tory.

If the Blades can beat Hull at Wem­b­ley this af­ter­noon they’ll be the first third-tier side to reach the FA Cup fi­nal.

Yes, they’re un­der­dogs. But the way they played in the pre­vi­ous rounds, beat­ing As­ton Villa and Ful­ham, I’m sure Steve Bruce knows it won’t be a for­mal­ity. The lad Scougall has done great since he ar­rived from Liv­ingston. When I saw him warm­ing up in the last round I had to ask if he was the mas­cot – he’s a tiny player, but he’s def­i­nitely got some­thing about him. And I re­ally like Ryan Flynn, the other wide man.

John Bray­ford has also been a great as­set since com­ing on loan from Cardiff. It’s credit to Nigel Clough that John was will­ing to drop into League One be­cause he shouldn’t be at that level. He’s sound de­fen­sively but he’s also got the class to hurt Hull go­ing for­ward.

But the most im­por­tant player will be Michael Doyle in mid­field. So much of Hull’s play comes through the cen­tre and he’ll be the one try­ing to stop them. He’s a player I re­ally like – he’s just got to avoid do­ing any­thing stupid, which has been his ten­dency.

Re­mem­ber, too, that Hull haven’t got Shane Long or Ni­kica Jelavic, both Cup-tied. Even with them, they’ve never been pro­lific at any stage. So there’s a lot for Nigel Clough to be op­ti­mistic about.

Nigel has shown in pre­vi­ous rounds he’s a cau­tious man­ager. He keeps it very tight for the first 45 min­utes, try­ing to keep a clean sheet to get a bit of con­fi­dence in his lads. Then they open up a bit more.

The longer that tac­tic works the more frus­trated Hull will get. It’s why I don’t ex­pect it to be a good game if I’m hon­est.

How­ever, both teams are more or less safe in their di­vi­sions, so they should be able to just en­joy it.

I know the fans will. When I got to the semi-fi­nal with the Blades in 2003, I walked out at Old Traf­ford to 60,000 people and the noise our fans made was in­cred­i­ble. I ex­pect an even bet­ter at­mos­phere to­mor­row.

Un­like us, they’ve been lucky with the draw – we got Ar­se­nal when we could have had Southamp­ton or Wat­ford!

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