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01/02: Preview: Sheffield United
Opposition opinion
by United fans Mick Nick, Marc Webster, thuglife and helpful blade

What was last season like?
Mick Nick: yes, generally a good season for United. We went into it wondering about a relegation fight and hoping against hope for mid-table obscurity. That it galled somewhat when we actually achieved this proves this fact beyond doubt, though a more argumentative bunch than us you'll be hard pushed to find.
Marc: We should have done better, but didn't, due to our manager's inept tactics away from home.

What's next season gonna be like?
Mick Nick: I suspect we don't have much choice really. The built in worry factors-lack of money, depth to squad, doubts over Warnock - are pretty much constants every season. We were not far short last year and appear a bit stronger this and simply have to go for it - I cant think of a reason why we SHOULDN'T get a play off berth.
Marc: On paper, we should definitely finish top six, and be aiming for top two, but games aren't won and lost on paper (and other lame cliches).
thuglife: Sorry mate, but thats ridiculous. On paper, we are one of the lowest spenders in the division. On paper we are essentially the same side as last year which finished nowhere near the top 2. On paper there are 7 or 8 teams stronger than us, and on paper, the bookies give us no chance.
Marc: Er, no. For the most of last season, we were without Asaba, Peschisolido, and Ndlovu. For the last few months we were missing Sandford, Brown and Santos. We had a right-back problem for a while, which has now been sorted by the resurgence of Kozluk. In short, for large parts of the season, we were missing 4-5 of what are now arguably our best players.
: We have NO money and we have a small squad so when injuries hit we are done for soz mate but playoffs if that.
Marc: Yeah, you're probably right, but I was basing it on being lucky enough to steer clear of injuries to key areas where we have no decent cover (all of the defence, for example), and all keeping their form up. If this happens, I see no reason why we can't get promoted. And it's not usually like me to be so optimistic, either

Can you recommend a pub for away fans?
Marc: Most pubs near the ground are pretty much exclusively for Blades, or are taken over by them. The best nearby is probably The Sheaf, but you'd be best off somewhere a little further away. probably.
Mick Nick: Bit off the beaten track but the Matilda on (funnily enough) Matilda St. is everything your average stereotyped northern boozer should be. Full of middle aged northerners drinking bitter and eating huge chip butties.
helpful blade: The Royal at the top of London Road lets away fans in - I have heard the police advising away fans to make their way up there if they want a quiet drink. There's never any trouble and away fans are made to feel welcome.

What's the nearest railway station?
Mick Nick: Trying to think of an easier ground to get to from mainline station and struggling. Come out of station, take second road on your left and follow your nose-pausing to sample the Matilda en route.

Can you suggest somewhere to park?
Mick Nick: No. Well yes but I don't want anyone nicking it.
Marc: On the local residental streets - but get there early, especially when the fans flock back after our excellent start to the season. Or something.

Soundbites (from assorted Census correspondents)
"My prediction of our finishing place is based on our board not selling our better players such as Asaba, Devlin or Brown. i.e. I'm living in fantasy land because that is what will happen. Mid table mediocrity is my prediction of will actually happen."

"I refuse to aid your promotion push next season by revealing details of our side."

"The blades are always going to be seen as a selling club but one day we will get a board that actually buys players of some quality and status. OUR DAY WILL COME."

"Bosman ruling is worst thing ever to happen to football."

"Sean Murphy is the best central defender in div 1."

"All referees hate us."

"We are goin up! lol"

"I own the patent for full stops. You owe me loads."