James Shield’s Sheffield United Column: Beware the uninvited guest

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The Sheffield United family is holding a party tomorrow.

And Kevin McDonald suspects he will be made to feel like an unwanted guest.

The Wolverhampton Wanderers midfielder was last night preparing for his first return to Bramall Lane since electing to leave South Yorkshire seven months ago.

United, meanwhile, are applying the finishing touches to their 125th birthday party and, by a twist of fate, McDonald has managed to bag an invite.

“I’m not sure what sort of reception I’ll get but whatever it is, I’ve got to put that to one side because I’m playing for Wolves now and what I did there is in the past,” he said yesterday. “The fans were brilliant to me at Sheffield United but they’re entitled to their opinion and it’s up to them what they want to say.

“I had a fantastic time there and it’s nice to see them enjoying such good fortunes again.

“But there will be no time for thinking about that tomorrow. I’ll have my ‘match head’ on and be concentrating on the game.”

McDonald, who made 91 appearances for United before Kenny Jackett triggered a £250,000 release clause in his contract, is right to do so because his former club are now a very different beast to the one beaten at Molineux earlier this term. That was United’s eighth defeat in 11 outings whereas now, following the appointment of Nigel Clough as manager, they have won 10 out of 11 and kept eight consecutive clean sheets.

“I still speak to Ryan Flynn a lot there,” McDonald continued. “We’ve been good mates ever since I went there so I’ve been having some banter with him this week and I’m struggling to believe we’re playing against each other.

“I said they were in a false position even when David Weir was the manager and it was only a matter of time before they picked up.

“Now, with the new manager, he’s changed things around it’s good to see them doing well instead of being at the bottom.

“They’re back towards where they deserve to be and they should be further up the table.

“It will be a good game for the fans and I’m sure there will be a big crowd at Bramall Lane.

“They have been on a great run, as we have been, so everything is set up for it to be a great game.”

*Twitter: @JamesShield1