Fresh challenge awaits Sheffield United with trip to AFC Wimbledon, warns boss Chris Wilder

WARNING: Chris Wilder. Picture: Simon Bellis/Sportimage
WARNING: Chris Wilder. Picture: Simon Bellis/Sportimage
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Chris Wilder has warned his Sheffield United players against suffering a culture shock when they travel to AFC Wimbledon tomorrow.

From Bramall Lane to tomorrow’s trip to Kingsmeadow, a stadium more renowned for non-league football as the traditional home of Kingstonian, these two League One footballing outposts could not be further apart.

But Blades boss Wilder, no stranger to life in football’s lower reaches, is determined his players will not be caught out by the Dons.

“If we stroll up and think we are Sheffield United, we’ve just won two games, we get 19,000 or 20,000 every week at home and that’s going to be enough – well, we are going to be in for a hell of a shock,” he said.

“Football just doesn’t work like that. If the boys are about what I believe they are about, we’ll put in a solid, disciplined performance.

“It’s all about overcoming different challenges. We go from unbelievably glamorous grounds like Bolton, which is a Premier League ground, to places like Wimbledon.

“I know the lads well enough down there to say that. It’s Kingstonians’ old ground, they pack them in and make it difficult. So if we are going to progress, we have to deal with everything that’s chucked at us.”

Doncaster Rovers manager Darren Ferguson has paid tribute to James Coppinger, set to make his 500th appearance for the club tomorrow.

The 35-year-old midfielder is already the club’s all-time leading appearance maker, and will reach the milestone of 500 games at Morecambe.

“It’s an incredible achievement to play 500 games for one club,” said Ferguson. “He hasn’t lost any of his quality really, and he’s a fit boy. The biggest compliment I can give him is that I wish I had managed him earlier in his career. I’ve had some good players but he must be up there as one of the best.”