Sheffield United: Oldham defeat ‘cost’ Blades

SHEFFIELD UNITED V OLDHAM ATHLETIC  3.3.12'pic : Martyn Harrison'Matthew Lowton  - SHEFF UTD RED CARD''© BLADES SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY, 66 THE PARK,'WOODLANDS, DONCASTER DN6 7RN'TEL : 01302 727 320 MOBILE : 07973 745 937
SHEFFIELD UNITED V OLDHAM ATHLETIC 3.3.12'pic : Martyn Harrison'Matthew Lowton - SHEFF UTD RED CARD''© BLADES SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY, 66 THE PARK,'WOODLANDS, DONCASTER DN6 7RN'TEL : 01302 727 320 MOBILE : 07973 745 937

WHEN Sheffield United last tasted defeat at Bramall Lane, the result sent shockwaves around the division and threw the League One promotion race wide open.

Back in March, Oldham Athletic remarkably fought back from 2-0 down to beat the South Yorkshire outfit 3-2 as the first cracks in the Blades empire started to appear.

The Latics visit Danny Wilson’s men on Saturday looking to repeat that performance and achievement but midfielder Michael Doyle has stressed revenge will not be on United’s agenda as they aim to extend their unbeaten run to 12 league matches.

“It is not a case of owing them one,” the Irishman told The Star. “We learned a lesson that day. We were 2-0 up and in total control and could have been four of five ahead.

“We were coasting but Lecsy (Lecsinel Jean-Francois) did his cruciate knee ligament and then Harry (Maguire) and Matty (Matthew Lowton) were sent off.

“We lost Harry and Matty for the game at Walsall which we also lost. Neill (Collins) missed the Oldham game for personal reasons so we lost our whole back four.”

Doyle, the United captain, admits the loss to Oldham “cost” the side as they were narrowly pipped to the second automatic promotion berth by rivals Sheffield Wednesday.

But he added: “It cost us but it was not just that game. You can look at the Stevenage one and other games.

“The Oldham result taught us a lesson and I think everyone can see we have learned from it. Things like that can happen in football but it is something we don’t ever want to happen again.”

Following three draws in a row on home soil, industrious central midfielder Doyle is targeting maximum points.

“We have been a bit naive and not taken our chances,” he said.

“We should have certainly beaten Doncaster Rovers and Notts County.

“We gave a really bad goal away versus Bury. We were very slack that day and didn’t do enough to justify a win.

“Teams are setting themselves up defensively at Bramall Lane and making themselves hard to break down. The important thing is we are creating chances so I’m sure the goals will come.”