At first glance, because both have already qualified for the play-offs, there is precious little at stake when Chesterfield visit Bramall Lane tomorrow afternoon, writes James Shield.
But Chris Basham, the Sheffield United centre-half, last night explained why Nigel Clough’s side are determined to finish the League One season on a positive note.
“We want to go out on a high,” he told The Star. “We’ve drawn our last two games even though we’ve done well in all of them and so it’s an important game in that regard.
“There isn’t a match we’re involved in that we don’t want to win. This is no different at all.”
With the division’s fourth and fifth ranked clubs scheduled to contest the second-leg of their semi-final a week on Monday, Basham acknowledged United, two points above sixth-placed Chesterfield, have logistical as well as professional reasons for trying to dispatch Paul Cook’s team.
“It’s important we try and take fifth,” he added. “Because of when the fixture would be played.
“Personally speaking, I don’t think it makes too much difference who we come up against but the Monday night rather than Sunday lunchtime would be nice. We’ll be right up for it whatever and we’ve shown in the past that the early kick-offs don’t bother us at all.
“But, in my mind, the evening kick-offs are better if you’ve got the choice. I think everybody involved would probably say the same.”
United made sure of a top six finish at Leyton Orient last weekend when Bob Harris cancelled-out Mathieu Baudry’s opener for the hosts. Clough’s squad has been criticised in some quarters following a series of inconsistent results but Basham, who helped them reach the semi-finals of the Capital One Cup four months ago, said: “I’ve in a semi-final and now I’m getting ready to compete in the play-offs. I couldn’t have dreamt of that when I came here from Blackpool in the summer.
“The gaffer brought me in and so hopefully we can get promoted. That’s my personal target, to prove a point and look forward to the Championship but there’s a long, long way to go before we can start thinking of that.”