Blades: Boss Weir excited by derby prospect

As a battle-hardened veteran of Glasgow and Merseyside combat, David Weir is no stranger to the rigours of a local derby.

And, although Sheffield United’s trip to Yorkshire rivals Bradford City on Saturday may not rank as highly as Rangers v Celtic or Everton v Liverpool, the Bramall Lane boss is nevertheless excited about his first taste of derby action since arriving in South Yorkshire.

“These are the types of games you want to be involved in,” the former Everton and Rangers man said.

“Every derby always means a lot, and it’s always good to play in a game with a good atmosphere.

“Games like this always highlight the rivalry between two sets of supporters, and it’s definitely something to look forward to.”

Saturday’s game at Valley Parade will also be Sean McGinty’s first taste of Yorkshire derby action, having arrived at United following his release from Manchester United in the summer.

McGinty made his United league debut in last weekend’s 1-1 draw with Colchester at Bramall Lane, and he said: “I’m hoping to keep my place against Bradford. I think my debut went well, and I’m thankful to David for giving me the opportunity.

“The manager has done that since he came in, giving everyone a fair crack of the whip, and I’m looking forward to a massive game this weekend with a big crowd.”

Although Saturday was McGinty’s league debut for United, he has already racked up a reasonable amount of experience at League One level - especially considering he only recently turned 20 years of age.

“I’ve had a fair bit of experience at this level,” McGinty, who enjoyed loan spells at Morecambe, Oxford United, Carlisle and Tranmere Rovers whilst at Old Trafford, added.

“Obviously I’ve not played as much as the likes of Harry [Maguire, United team-mate] but I’ve showed that I can hold my own at this level.

“I hope I showed that on Saturday, but there is plenty more to come from me.”

McGinty was signed by Alex Ferguson from Charlton as a centre back, and admits that he sees his future at the centre of defence: “I was made into a left-back to improve my ball play,” he revealed.

“But in time, when I grow older and get bigger, I’ll probably move back there.

“It has helped me a lot playing there, against tricky wingers and stopping crosses. There’s a lot of responsibility playing in defence as a young player.”

Going forward, too, McGinty - who is expected to keep his place on Saturday, at the expense of Marcus Williams - has backed his young Bramall Lane teammates to fill the void left by Kevin McDonald after his move to Wolves.

“I’m 100% sure we have the players here to replace Kev,” he said.

“A lot of the way we played was focused around Kev, but he’s gone now and although I wish him the best, we do have the players who can replace him.

“We have the likes of Callum [McFadzean] and Ryan [Flynn] who can play in that role, as well as a few others, so we’ll be fine.”