Sheffield United manager Nigel Clough has warned his players not to under-estimate the threat Gillingham will pose this afternoon as the Blades chase back-to-back wins for the first time this season.
Since gaining promotion to the third-tier of English football, the Gills have claimed a paltry four points from their seven League One fixtures on the road.
Nonetheless, Clough is refusing to take Gillingham, who are currently in 18th position, lightly as United look to climb out of the relegation zone.
He said: “They will be tough to beat and tough to break down. The last thing we want is for the players or anybody thinking if we just turn up it will be three points. It won’t be that easy.
“We will give Gillingham respect. They are more than capable on their day of getting a result. But we would hope if we play in the same positive vein as we have done in the last three games, where we have scored six goals, we will be okay.”
Clough, seeking a third victory from his four matches in charge, has acknowledged his team will have to keep a close eye on Gillingham’s Danny Kedwell.
The striker has notched eight goals in 18 appearances this term, including six goals in his last six outings.
“Kedwell is the main goal-scorer that they have got but Gillingham have got pace in wide areas,” he said.
The United chief has also spoken of his admiration for newly-appointed Gills boss Peter Taylor.
Having been in charge of the Kent club on an interim basis following Martin Allen’s sacking, the 60-year-old was given the job until the end of the season earlier this week by chairman Paul Scally.
“I have met Peter a few times,” he said. “He is vastly experienced at all levels. He must have managed in every division and was also with England’s Under-21s and the senior team.
“Peter has been there [Gillingham] a few weeks as caretaker so you are never quite sure what effect that will have.”
Clough is expected to hand forward Shaun Miller his first league start since Boxing Day who is in line to partner Chris Porter up front.
George Long will be available for selection. The pro talented goalkeeper was a member of the England Ur-21 squad which continued its UEFA Championship qualifying campaign with a victory
over Finland on Thursday. Febian Brandy is still suspended.
Meanwhile, John Garrett, United’s club historian, will be signing copies of his new book, Folklore and Fables, on before the Gillingham clash. He’ll be in the Blades Superstore between 1pm and 2.30pm.
The book is priced £10.99.