Blades’ stern test underway

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Neill Collins was a wide-eyed Kilmarnock fan when he first saw Paulo Di Canio dazzle Scottish football.

“I remember him as a Celtic player, he was unbelievable,” said the Sheffield United defender.

“He was fantastic to watch and it’s funny who you come up against in football.”

Blades manager Danny Wilson’s memories of his opposite number tonight are not the innocent ones that Collins recalls.

Wilson and Di Canio clashed publicly in 1997 when the latter was player and the former manager at Sheffield Wednesday.

It is unlikely that they will conclude tonight’s League One encounter with a sporting handshake, such is the dislike they have for each other, which was exacerbated when Di Canio slammed Wilson in his autobiography for lacking “guidance” and “strength”.

Wilson is keen to look beyond that and at his own team, who face the sternest test of their unbeaten run over the next 11 days.

After the trip to Swindon they visit MK Dons and then host Stevenage.

United are without Dave Kitson while Collins, 29, is hoping to land a long-term contract at the club and is currently in talks.

Last six games: Swindon DDLWLL; Sheff Utd DWWWWW.

Last time: Swindon 2 Sheff Utd 2; Oct 23, 1999; Division One.

Referee: O Langford (West Midlands).