Nigel Adkins has warned Manchester United his players are not daunted by the prospect of visiting Old Trafford.
And the Sheffield United manager, speaking before this evening’s FA Cup third round tie, revealed reaching the semi-finals of both major domestic knockout competitions in the past two seasons has fueled belief among his squad that they can cause one of the greatest upsets of modern times.
Despite admitting it will be a “massive ask” to beat Louis van Gaal’s side, Adkins said: “The previous cup runs will have given the lads belief.
“It’s been done before so it can be done again.
“We can draw on that, definitely, because there are players still here who were a part of those runs.
“The players have got to go and enjoy it. You find out about yourself. You either embrace it or you freeze.”
Insisting United should take heart from Leeds’ victory at the same stadium six years ago, Adkins added: “Leeds went there and won in this tournament.
“They were in League One at the time so who knows? We’ll give it a shot.
“Yes, it’s a massive ask but let’s go there and embrace it.
“We’ve got to enjoy it.
“It’s easier said than done because we know what a good team Manchester United are.
“There are three results and we’ll take two of them.
“The third one, it could go the wrong way. But we should embrace it and go there with a fearless attitude to get two of those three possible results.
“We always find out about ourselves. Can you handle playing in the arena?
“You need a certain character to play in our one too. The tempo will be quicker but it’s the Theatre Of Dreams we are going to so why shouldn’t we dream?”
United enter the meeting with the three-time European champions having won four of their previous six outings.
Adkins, who took charge in June, said: “There’s a growing belief among the players, I can sense it.
We’ve been through a good December, there’s been a consistency of selection and there’s a growing spirit and belief about everybody. The league is where we really need to do it but this is the FA Cup and you try to win every single game. You go as far as you can and you respect it. It’s the biggest cup competition, from a domestic point of view, in the world. There’s no better.”