Sheffield United v MK Dons: Gloves on for Simon Moore as he eyes new promotion surge

Sheffield United's Simon Moore. (Picture: David Klein/Sportimage)
Sheffield United's Simon Moore. (Picture: David Klein/Sportimage)
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YOU could say that Simon Moore knows a thing or two about League One bandwagons.

The Sheffield United goalkeeper has sampled winning dressing rooms at this level in the past at climactic times of the season at Brentford and Bristol City – and believes that the stars are starting to align quite nicely in that respect at Bramall Lane.

Admittedly, there is a considerable way to go if the Blades are to end their six-season purgatory in League One.

But Moore, reconstructing his career with surety in South Yorkshire after a frustrating spell at Cardiff, sees no reason why momentum cannot continue to build inexorably at S2.

The Blades enter this afternoon’s home game with managerless MK Dons on the back of a resounding 10-match unbeaten league sequence, which has showcased steel alongside some silk.

Resolution has been shown to avoid defeats at the likes of Bradford City and Fleetwood Town, while a more ruthless edge has been displayed against others, such as Shrewsbury Town and Port Vale.

Similar traits were shown by Bristol City during Moore’s brief but eventful 11-match loan spell at Ashton Gate in the second half of the 2013-14 campaign when he did his bit to help the Robins clinch promotion – he was on the losing side just twice.

Rewind the clock a little bit further to 2012-13 and Moore tasted defeat just once in the final 11 regular games of the campaign with Brentford and was part of a Bees side who produced several powerhouse spells of form – before freakishly losing out in the race for automatic promotion to Doncaster Rovers.

The numbers may be stacking up for the Blades, but the 26-year-old wants more.

On the Blades’ noteworthy statistics, Moore said: “It is just good that everyone can see the quality we have got. We always knew it was there.

“It started a bit slow but, over the last 10 games, we have really shown the quality this side has and it can get even better.

“We are going into games confidently; we do not fear anyone in this league and that is a nice feeling to have.

“We know how hard we have worked to get to this position, so we want to keep it going. Why cannot we get to 15 (unbeaten games) and then 20?

“That is how you have got to look at it. But, equally, we cannot look any further than the next game because there are no gimmes in this division. None at all.

“If we keep the same attitude, then I am sure we will give ourselves a chance of getting to where we want to be.

“Look at when we played Fleetwood and drew late on. We would have been gutted if we had come away with nothing.”

In a run in which the plaudits have been bestowed upon a number of players who have put their hand up impressively for the Blades’ cause at various junctures, Moore has proved a resounding last line of defence.

After running the risk of suffering from bench splinters during his previous two seasons at former club Cardiff City, when he played second fiddle to David Marshall for large parts, the Isle of Wight-born goalkeeper is being afforded a much more pleasurable time of it in the Steel City.

Not that he is the type to rest upon his laurels, given his experiences in the past two years when he assumed goalkeeping duties on occasions with Cardiff, only to be usurped by Scottish international Marshall.

Now he has to contend with George Long – first-choice for the Blades last term – breathing down his neck, with a couple of other talented young goalkeepers in Aaron Ramsdale and Jake Eastwood also in the rear-view mirror.

Not that Moore sees the intense competition as a bad thing, quite the opposite in fact. It is something all aspiring sides must possess, in his view.

He added: “The lads have got to perform week-in, week-out, if they want to keep a shirt. You cannot take your foot off the gas.

“That is the sort of competitive environment that you want, coming into training every day. I love that.

“You want everyone pulling in the same direction and I really feel that is something we have got here at the moment.

“Longy has been great. I know I’ve got to stay on my toes because of the quality he has got.

“Aaron Ramsdale is a brilliant young prospect and the same goes for Jake Eastwood, too.

“We all work well together and drive each other on. I know I have to do the business day-in and day-out because they are waiting to step in.”