Nigel Clough is under no illusion about the threat Chesterfield will pose at the Proact Stadium this afternoon.
The Sheffield United manager, who is expected to hand a debut to new loan signing Paddy McCarthy, warned Paul Cook’s side are likely to “relish” the prospect of facing his team after making a strong start to the new League One season following their promotion last term.
“I’m not surprised by how Chesterfield have done,” Clough said. “They’ve come up and they’ll be relishing being in this league. Absolutely loving it I’m sure.
“I thought it was telling when they didn’t bring too many players in over the summer. The same goes for Rochdale and I’m not surprised by them either.
“When you’ve gone up, sometimes it can have a negative effect upon the spirit you’ve built if you break all of that up.”
United climbed to seventh in the table when they beat Gillingham last weekend. Chesterfield are a point and a place behind in eighth while Rochdale, who also clawed themselves out of the fourth tier last season, enter the latest round of games ranked fifth despite being beaten at Bramall Lane three weeks ago.
Predicting today’s derby, which kicks-off at 1pm, “will be intense”, Clough added: “We’re always fascinated by the comments of opposition managers after they play us. They always say it was their best performance of the season. They’ll be looking forward to us coming to town. We have to contend and cope with that.”