Chris Morgan has warned Sheffield United’s rivals that their “remarkable” achievements in knockout competition prove Nigel Clough’s side are equipped to secure automatic promotion from League One.
Morgan delivered his verdict after watching them complete a hat-trick of top-flight scalps this season following yesterday’s FA Cup victory at QPR.
United, sixth in the table ahead of this weekend’s pivotal game against Preston North End, reached the semi-finals of the tournament last term and Morgan told The Star: “We know that if we play like that we can get in the top two.
“That’s where we want to be and if we can reproduce that type of display on a weekly basis then there’s no reason to believe why it won’t happen.
“Performances like the one we’ve just seen out there show the lads are capable of doing it. Absolutely no question. If you’d asked any fans at the start of the season whether they’d be happy, come January, to be inside the top six, in the semi-finals of the Capital One Cup and now the FA Cup fourth round then I think most would say ‘yes’ they would be.
“But, let’s make no mistake, these type of displays have got to start coming in the league. Because we don’t want to be in the top six. We want to be in the top two.”
Jamal Campbell-Ryce (2) and Marc McNulty were on target as United, who face Tottenham Hotspur in the last four of the Capital One Cup later this month, stunned Harry Redknapp’s team only nine days after losing at Port Vale.
“I think the mental preparations is the biggest thing,” Morgan added. “Against teams like Southampton, West Ham, Aston Villa, Fulham and now QPR, we know we have to be absolutely bang on it. Right at our very best.
“I’m not saying the lads take their feet off the gas when they’re in the league because I don’t think that’s the case at all.
“But occasions like this, and especially when you see the calibre of player QPR had out there, just emphasise what they are capable of when they are sharp and completely switched on.”
John Brayford, the Cardiff City defender and former United loanee, was reportedly among the crowd as Clough’s charges booked their place in tonight’s fourth round draw while midfielder James Wallace made his long-awaited return from injury as a second-half substitute.
“This is an honest bunch of players,” Morgan said. “They want to work hard and they work hard for each other.
“There is some real quality out there but, at the same time, that attitude is probably one of their biggest strengths.
Look through the QPR team. They showed us a lot of respect, I thought, by naming the starting eleven they did and then bringing people like Bobby Zamora on.
“We knew we would be up against it but I honestly believe the lads deserved to go through. What they’ve done is remarkable but they’ve got to carry that on.
“We came here with a belief that we could do it but also an understanding, because QPR would have the same attitude, we’d have to show them even more and work exceptionally hard.”