Doyle prepared for showdown with Huddlestone

Sheffield United's Michael Doyle
Sheffield United's Michael Doyle
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MICHAEL DOYLE is no stranger to Cup shocks.

Before this season, for instance, the Irish midfielder had twice knocked out Manchester United at Old Trafford.

Sheffield United’s run to the semi-finals has, however, surprised even him, with Aston Villa, Fulham and Nottingham Forest being three of the fancied sides who have succumbed to the South Yorkshire outfit.

Now Hull City stand between the Blades and a first FA Cup final appearance in 78 years. As the heart of the United midfield, Doyle is well aware just who will have to be kept quiet if Nigel Clough’s side are to make history.

“Tom Huddlestone is a good player,” said the former Leeds United and Coventry midfielder. “It will be tough against him. In Hull’s season, he has had a lot of the plaudits. He has done really well.

“People talk about him for a World Cup spot and this will be a good stage for him to do well. But, equally, it is a stage for us to show what we can do.

“We don’t get that opportunity very often so this is our chance. We are relishing that challenge.

“I would say the midfield is strong as a whole. (David) Meyler is a good player and so is (Jake) Livermore. They are Premier League players and have that quality.”

Doyle has missed just one of United’s seven Cup ties, the 1-0 win at Fulham which came while he was serving a three-match ban after being sent off in the first game against the Londoners.

He added: “The manager wants us to be pretty positive on Sunday. That sets the tone. He said similar things before Villa and I thought we took our lead from that to get a deserved win.

“It will be a different game but, hopefully, we can give a good account of ourselves. We will have to soak things up because Hull are a good side. But we have shown that won’t be a problem.

“Getting to a Cup final would be incredible. It has never been done before (by a team outside the top two divisions) and that would give every single one of the lads a bond that would never be broken.

“We could then come back every 25 years for the celebration dinners and all sorts. That’s the sentimentalist in me talking.”