Sheffield United: Macca can expect no favours from old pals

Neill Collins � BLADES SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY
Neill Collins � BLADES SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY

Kevin McDonald has been warned to expect a hot reception when Sheffield United arrive at Molineux tomorrow, writes James Shield.

Six weeks after swapping Bramall Lane for the Black Country, the Wolverhampton Wanderers is preparing to face his former club for the first time since that controversial move.

Despite describing McDonald as a good friend, United defender Neill Collins said: “Football is a ruthless cut-throat game. Once the whistle blows, if there is a ball there to be won then it doesn’t matter who you are up against, you’ll kick lumps out of them to get it.

“That’s the kind of attitude you need. We are going there to win and everyone needs to be ready.

“Whether that’s being aggressive with Kevin or whatever. He’ll be the same although I don’t think Kevin has ever hurt anyone in his life.

“You always come up against friends and acquaintances. It’s part and parcel of the job and only afterwards do you wish them all the best.”

Both United and Wolves, relegated from the Championship last season, have tasted top-flight football in recent years.

The visitors are 22nd in the League One table after suffering a frustrating start to the campaign and, speaking ahead of the meeting with Kenny Jackett’s third placed side, Collins said: “The thing is with football, it’s not fans, stadiums and clubs that determine what division you play in. In our case the fans have been unfortunate that the team has not reflected what the club should deserve right now.

“But that’s where we are. We are a League One team backed by Premiership supporters at a Premiership ground. Wolves, right now, are the same, but we are not the only clubs to have been in that position.”

Collins, who represented Wolves earlier in his career, revealed he has kept in touch with McDonald despite Jackett’s decision to trigger a release clause in his contract.

But he reassured United supporters: “We are not really in a position to be bantering, we are just wanting to stay under the radar.

“If we were top of the league there would be a lot more banter, but we just want to get the show on the road and win. Everything has been very workmanlike, serious, and we are just trying to put things right.”

*Twitter: @JamesShield1