Sheffield United: Strike ace seeks home gains

Chris Porter, right, is calling on United to turn Bramall Lane into fortress. Picture: Martyn Harrison.
Chris Porter, right, is calling on United to turn Bramall Lane into fortress. Picture: Martyn Harrison.
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Striker Chris Porter claims Sheffield United’s home form will be key to their fortunes in League One this season.

The Blades won just eight times at Bramall Lane last term, relying instead on an impressive record on their travels to secure a play-off spot.

Now hard-working forward Porter has called on United to turn their home into one of the most feared grounds in the country, starting against Notts County tomorrow night.

“It is crucial we start positively at home,” Porter told The Star. “We were probably better on the road than we were at home last year. I don’t really know why that was the case.

“Of course, we would rather be better at home for the fans who pay good money to come and watch us every week. I’m sure the manager will try and put that right this season.”

“The start of the season is always a big indicator of how you will do and hopefully we will get a couple of wins and then push on,” he added.

United lost four and drew 11 of their 23 home outings to garner a total of 35 points in the 2012/13 campaign.

Manager David Weir thinks United’s fans have a vital part to play in making Bramall Lane an intimidating place to visit.

“The supporters have big role to play and I don’t say that in a flippant manner,” said the Scot. “If we are to be successful, our supporters can certainly make a massive difference, especially at home. Not many teams at this level will get anywhere near 20,000 week in, week out.”

Roy Hodgson, meanwhile, will take charge of the England Under-21 team against Scotland on a one-off basis while a new coach is appointed. The Football Association has confirmed that England boss Hodgson and his assistant Ray Lewington will lead the squad for the match on August 13 at Bramall Lane, the evening before England’s senior team meet Scotland at Wembley.