Stephen McGinn has described this afternoon’s encounter against Shrewsbury Town as “a six point game” after warning Sheffield United’s FA Cup exploits will count for nothing unless they beat Michael Jackson’s side, writes James Shield.
Four days after reaching the fifth round of the competition with a dramatic last gasp victory at Fulham, United resume their battle for League One survival knowing that a win would lift them above the visitors in the table and potentially out of the bottom four.
Making no attempt to downplay the significance of the fixture, McGinn said: “The Shrewsbury game is huge and so much bigger than Fulham. We need to start winning games and getting ourselves out of trouble.
“No one is too good to be involved in a relegation fight but we do feel we can put a good run of wins together. There have been games this season when we have played well but not got our rewards and let three points turn into zero.
“So we have to be more ruthless. Get that second goal and finish things off.”
McGinn, who enjoyed a spell on loan at Town last term, started Tuesday’s fourth round replay at Craven Cottage after also featuring in last weekend’s 3-0 defeat by Crewe Alexandra.
“After Crewe, the manager (Nigel Clough) had a meeting with us all and asked a lot of questions of us,” the midfielder added. “He asked ‘Was that an off day or is it a sign of things to come?’
“He wanted a reaction and we all believe Tuesday can be the start of something. The feeling we had in the dressing room at Fulham is what we want all the time. Nothing beats winning a game.
“The emotions are mixed after a big game like Tuesday. Obviously, we were delighted to have won but you have to have one eye on the league as well.
“The position we are in is not good and with last Saturday being particularly bad, we have top get this right. We hurt really badly after Crewe.”
Clough, whose team now travel to Gillingham on February 19, last night echoed McGinn’s sentiments about the importance of today’s game, saying: “There’s pressure but you have to thrive on that. You have to embrace it.
“Take Fulham for example. Before that you have to think ‘We’re playing a Premiership team. Do we cower or have a really good go?”