Palace is just another big game, insists Adams

SHEFFIELD UNITED manager Micky Adams insists this weekend’s trip to Crystal Palace should not be billed as a ‘cup final’ despite the high stakes in the battle for Championship survival.

The Blades moved to within two points of safety after a midweek draw with Reading and next visit Palace, the first club they are trying to catch.

With 15 games still to play before the end of the season, Adams is keen to stress that Saturday’s game is not a case of win or bust.

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“They are all big games and I don’t want to say any game is bigger than any other,” he said. “In the situation we find ourselves in, they are all big games.

“It’s no use preparing for Crystal Palace as if it’s a cup final. It’s not,” he stressed. “It’s just another game that is big because of our situation. But Scunthorpe will be a big game and so will Derby County.

“We know the importance of them without making people aware they are massive,” he added. “They are not, they are just games.”

Adams is still seeking his first win as Blades manager after nine games in charge and admitted his side were ‘lucky’ to take a point against Reading who dominated for long periods. “It was a lucky point and Reading were the better team,” he said. “But we have played better than that and lost – so maybe our luck has turned.

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“You never know about the importance of a point until the end of the season. Whether top or bottom of the league, you don’t know until you see the final table. It could be a good point yet, we don’t know.”

Adams believes the capture on loan of Welsh international striker Sam Vokes from Wolves and Norwegian international Bjorn Helge Riise from Fulham will help the club stay up.

“We have not scored enough goals and we are not creating enough,” he said. “ Sam is a big guy who can handle himself in the Darius Henderson mould, I suppose.

“The deal was set up for Saturday and he was going to play in a reserve game for Wolves on Tuesday evening but I got a call at 9am to say that Ched Evans was ill again so we decided to act on it. I could see that Sam needed a game but we were careful and only played him for an hour or so. He will get better.”

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Defender Shane Lowry missed the Reading game with a dead leg but could return against Palace along with Evans, who has a virus.

Adams, who is without Nick Montgomery for a month, is still waiting to discover the result of yesterday’s scan on Lee Williamson’s stomach injury after the midfielder went off shortly before the end of Tuesday’s draw with Reading.