SHEFFIELD UNITED: David Mirfin hungry for victory against club he loves

False position: David Mirfin is sure Scunthorpe will come good
False position: David Mirfin is sure Scunthorpe will come good
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WHATEVER the result at Glanford Park tomorrow, David Mirfin will not forgo his Sunday roast.

“My mum is a huge Sheffield United fan but my wife supports Sheffield Wednesday,” he revealed. “We’ve got both colours in the family so, the chances are, I’m going to upset somebody.

“The flip side, though, is that I’m not going to get hungry. Depending on what happens, one of them is going to be happy to cook me a meal.”

Mirfin, who is expected to anchor the home side’s defence when Danny Wilson’s team make the short journey to north Lincolnshire, makes no secret of where his allegiences in the Steel City lie.

“Away from football I’m a Blade for 44 games of the season,” the Sheffield-born central defender told The Star earlier this week, “And an Iron fan for two.”

But Scunthorpe’s followers should have absolutely no doubt about his commitment against the visitors from Bramall Lane.

Mirfin will not allow sentiment to overshadow professional obligations.

“Obviously the matches against United are the ones I look out for first,” he said. “And the build up is a little bit different because a lot more people get in touch and afterwards there’s a lot of ribbing going on.

“But, when it comes to training and the match itself, it really isn’t different to any other because the club I’m with now is a huge part of my life and really close to my heart. I think everyone knows that.

“I’m always doing my absolute utmost to win.”

Winning is not something Scunthorpe have proved adept at this season having lost all of their four outings in League One so far.

That record, which has left United’s opponents rooted to the bottom of the table, has inevitably increased the pressure on manager Alan Knill.

But Mirfin, who returned to Scunthorpe eight months ago after a spell with Watford, cited the presence of Wilson’s opposite number as a major factor behind his decision to leave Vicarage Road.

“Alan wants to improve you as a player. That’s why I enjoy working for him,” he said. “No matter how young or old you are, he wants you to get better rather than just stand still.

“He’s also a really determined character and stays true to what he believes in, which is a quality you can only respect.

“There are lots of different ways to play football but he wants us to go about our business in a manner people would like to watch.

“Obviously there’s got to be an end product but we’re better than results so far would suggest.

“It’s small margins rather than anything major that’s going wrong. It’s still early days and we’ll get there.”

United, who are fifth, have good reason to fear Scunthorpe will slip into gear tomorrow having lost four and drawn four of their previous eight outings against them away from home.

“I’d like to say there was a hoodoo but I don’t think there is,” Mirfin said. “I think it’s just coincidence, to be honest.

“Other people probably make more out of it than actually should be the case.

“But there is something different about playing at Glanford Park. It’s a really tight, close ground and unlike a lot of others in this division and above.

“So hopefully we can work that to our advantage.”

Mirfin, aged 27, took his first steps on the footballing ladder with Wisewood Juniors - “All my mates played for them so I wanted to go there” - and signed his first professional contract with Huddersfield Town in 2004 after graduating from Sheffield Boys

“I just used to enjoy knocking a ball around after school. I didn’t really think of making a career out of the game until much later on. I was a bit of a late bloomer,” he said.

Despite his deeper-lying role, Mirfin is one of several Scunthorpe players Wilson warned last night have the potential to upset United’s unbeaten start.

“There are a lot of different styles in this division,” Mirfin said. “There are the physical sides but there are ones who try and pass the ball too, like Swansea when they were down here.

“We’ve seen how both can be successful. That’s why consistency is key. Win your home games and pick up what you can away.

“The teams who ultimately go up this season will be the ones who are the most consistent.”