IF familiarity breeds contempt then tonight’s Johnstone’s Paint Trophy tie should be a real humdinger.
Sheffield United, less than three weeks after hosting Notts County at Bramall Lane, make the short journey south for the second time in only seven short months.
Harry Maguire, the visitors’ teenage defender, yesterday distanced himself from claims that either of those games will have any bearing on this second round fixture.
But United will view their encounter with Keith Curle’s side as an early opportunity in front of a live television audience to make up for the September stalemate at Bramall Lane.
“We want to go there and win,” Maguire, who featured in the draw with County 18 days ago, said. “We want to build momentum.
“Matches in this competition are tight and fast. They’re played at a really high tempo. It’s a great opportunity to try and get to Wembley. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t want to appear there.”
Although winning the JPT pales into insignificance compared to securing promotion to the Championship, professional pride ensured both United and County have prepared with the same attention to detail they would for a League One outing.
Wilson’s charges will want to prove a point after a late equaliser from Lee Hughes recently denied them victory at Bramall Lane. Curle’s are intent on avenging March’s 5-2 defeat on home soil towards the end of the 2011/12 season.
“I felt we controlled the game against them last time but, like many times this season, we only got a draw when we should have got more,” Maguire acknowledged.
“That’s something we’ve worked on in training - killing teams off - but County are a good side as we’ve seen and this will be far from easy.”
United’s desire to reach the Northern Area quarter-finals, where Coventry City await the winners of tonight’s contest, is underlined by the fact they practised penalties at Shirecliffe yesterday.
“I’m put my name forward if it comes to that,” Maguire said. “But I don’t know if I’ll be picked after my last one (against Burton) in the League Cup.”