NEILL Collins admits Sheffield United have developed a siege mentality as they bid to bring Championship football back to Bramall Lane, writes James Shield.
And Collins, the former Sunderland, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Leeds centre-half, told The Star how past experience of facing the South Yorkshire club has enabled him to develop a ruthless streak.
Speaking ahead of this afternoon’s League One clash encounter with MK Dons, Collins said: “When you used to play against United you used to hate them because you knew how tough it would be and they had a massive crowd.
“Then, when you come here, you get a siege mentality because of that. I’m sure all of us who have been in the same situation will say the same thing.
“I’m really enjoying it here. More than ever before in my career and that’s because of the manager, the people behind the scenes and the fans.
“Sheffield United is a club with identity, history and tradition. I can see why people like Monty (Nick Montgomery) who were here for such a long time still have such a great affinity for the place, feel about it the way they do, even though they’ve left for pastures new.”
United, unbeaten in their last six outings, enter the meeting with Karl Robinson’s 12th placed side second in the table and a point behind leaders Doncaster Rovers.
Collins, insisting United can “take nothing for granted” in the battle for promotion, refuted suggestions that being booed-off the pitch following their last outing on home soil meant Danny Wilson’s team would be under extra pressure against the Dons.
“I’m a football fan myself and I’d be the first to be shouting ‘come on’ if things weren’t going that well,” he said. “I would have high demands if I was a United fan watching us in this league.
“What I do know is that when we are shooting towards The Kop they are fantastic.
“Our fans want us to do well. That’s a given.”
“MK are a very good team,” Collins added. “Some teams they beat in the FA Cup might have taken them for granted but not us.
“We won’t be doing that. We know how good they can be.”