Chris Wilder, the Sheffield United manager, has explained why, despite knowing a booking against Nottingham Forest will rule him out of next week's Steel City derby, David McGoldrick will not be ordered to curb his competitive instincts during tomorrow's match at the City Ground.
McGoldrick, a former Nottingham Forest player, enters the fixture with his home town club walking a disciplinary tightrope after collecting four yellow cards since joining United in July.
Losing the centre-forward for the meeting with Sheffield Wednesday would deal a major blow to Wilder's hopes of winning the biggest game in Championship football, especially with Mark Duffy (hip) and John Egan (hamstring) both receiving treatment for injuries.
But, as United seek to extend their stay at the top of the table, Wilder insisted it would be a mistake to encourage McGoldrick, one of their most experienced players, to alter his approach.
"The day we don’t compete is the day I won’t be manager here," Wilder said. "That’s part of parcel of our character and how we want to go about it.
"We aren't topping people or two-footing people. We are making honest challenges, and if they are slightly mistimed, and pick a booking up, we have to take that consequence."
After graduating from Notts County's youth system before beginning a four year stint with Forest in 2009, McGoldrick could probably not ask for a tougher occasion to negotiate safe passage through ahead of Wednesday's visit. But, having made nearly 400 career appearances, Wilder last night rejected the notion that McGoldrick should be reminded of his responsibilities.
"You just have to take the consequences of being committed," he added. "You can get booked for anything these days.
"I want players to be committed in everything they do. The good thing about it is it’s not dissent or kicking the ball away where we are getting done. We are getting booked for competing."
The trip to Forest is also a significant date on Kieron Freeman's personal calendar. Like McGoldrick, the wing-back was born in Nottingham and grew-up supporting Aitor Karanka's side.
"Kieron is a Forest fan, like his old man who goes and watches them, so he has roots in Nottingham," Wilder, who will be without Chris Basham (suspension), said. "David had a really good period of his career there, he is a Nottingham boy as well. They will both want to do well, and have been excellent this year.
"David has been key to what we have done this season," he added. "We have not just got 13, 14 or 15 players we just rely on, we are looking at 21 or 22. It’s not bloated, we have got good balance and competition."