Sheffield United v Leyton Orient: Blades are playing for Cup places – McGinn

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STEPHEN McGINN believes there is still time for anyone in the Sheffield United squad to play their way into manager Nigel Clough’s plans for next weekend’s FA Cup semi-final at Wembley.

The Blades’ play-off hopes are fading fast after just one win in their last five outings, meaning the focus can switch to the last-four Cup meeting with Hull City.

McGinn, a regular in the team until suffering an injury in the 1-0 win at Gillingham on February 19, said: “I thought before the Brentford game (last Tuesday) that if the Cup semi-final was tomorrow then I would probably not be in the team.

“But there were three games to give the manager something to think about. I have played in a semi-final up in Scotland (for St Mirren) before and I would do anything to be part of this one.

“It is a big motivational tool. One of the things that can’t be said about us is that our performances have dipped because of Wembley. The gaffer doesn’t allow that to happen.”

United are also in action at home against Rotherham United on Tuesday, when Clough is likely to rotate his players with the Hull ecnounter in mind.

McGinn said: “I played a few games in our winning run but, unfortunately, I then got injured (against Gillingham). But now the manager is changing things around because it just can’t be the same team because we are playing so many games.”

As for today, United’s Scottish midfielder is not surprised to see the visitors riding high in League One.

He said: “Russel Slade has done a great job. They are a good side. They have attacking players that ask questions of you for the full 90 minutes but are also very organised.

“On their day, Orient are a match for anyone and we will have to be right on it to get a result.”