Colchester v Sheffield United - Blades look to reap reward for away day form

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SHEFFIELD UNITED will look to utilise their impressive away record in their pursuit of promotion at lowly Colchester United.

The Blades have been beaten just three times in a dozen league away games this season – only Walsall have lost fewer games on the road in League One.

Matt Done (Picture: SportImage)

Matt Done (Picture: SportImage)

In the middle of a six-match spell, where they play at Bramall Lane just once, now is the time for United to reap the benefit from their travels.

Today’s trip to Colchester is Nigel Adkins’s third game in a week, the first seeing a narrow defeat at Manchester United in the FA Cup.

Then came Tuesday’s storming fightback at Wigan, Matt Done netting twice as the Blades battled back from 3-0 down to draw 3-3 at their promotion rivals.

“Tuesday night was a strange one, with a real mixture of emotions,” said Done, 27. “From the frustration and disappointment at 3-0 down to the delight and jubilation when we equalised, it was some fightback in the circumstances.

“Hopefully it is a turning point, a season changing game in some respects, as it was a big psychological thing to get a draw against all the odds against a promotion rival away from home.”

After today, United host Swindon before away games at Blackpool and Bury – four clubs sitting in the bottom half of the League One table.

A run of four successive wins in December was halted by a 3-2 home loss to Peterborough United, leaving the Blades on the edge of the play-offs. They trail sixth-placed Posh by three points.

On-loan Leicester City midfielder Dean Hammond, 32, has extended his stay at United until the summer. Adkins said: “I have said it many times, Dean is a honest, hard-working professional of the highest level and he is a big part of our squad and team. His presence around the place is bringing other players on, he is a role model for them to look up to.

“He might not do the things that get the supporters off their seats, but he does all the nasty things, the little bits of work that needs to be done but doesn’t get noticed.”