Wigan v Sheffield Utd: Blades facing '˜big challenge' on back of Old Trafford dismay

PERCEIVED wisdom suggests that an away game at Wigan Athletic does not come as fraught with danger as does a trip to Manchester United.

Sheffield United manager Nigel Adkins.

But in terms of tough challenges, certainly as far as League One road trips go, a game at the Latics is right up there for the Blades.

After the physical exertions in the pouring rain at Old Trafford on Saturday tea-time – and the mental strain of seeing a replay agonisingly slip from their grasp at the end – the Blades face a test of character and endurance this evening.

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Manager Nigel Adkins, who will assess Billy Sharp and Jay McEveley, said: “It is going to be a big challenge. Obviously, they have had a bit more of a rest period in respect of playing on Thursday night when they got a dramatic winning goal against Gillingham.

“They have had more recovery and will be buoyed by that result as well and they are above us in the division. But I am looking forward to it. We have got to kick on after a good December and we move on after Saturday.

“For me, we are in the race. We are a couple of points away from the play-off situation at the moment.

“We know we have got to pick up results. There’s half a season to go and we have got experience in the team and know we can score goals and have demonstrated we can be resolute in defence as well.”

Meanwhile, Adkins has said that midfielder James Wallace may be allowed to move out on loan to boost his game-time levels after an injury-hit campaign.

Last six games: Wigan DLWWDW, Sheffield United WWWWLL

Referee: A Woolmer (Northants).

Last time: Wigan 0 Sheffield United 1; December 16, 2006; Premier League.