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Latics need to show steel

1 March 2013

Philliskirk goal to blunt Blades


Latics will need to show their steel in tomorrow’s home npower League One game against promotion-chasing Sheffield United.

Caretaker Manager Tony Philliskirk describes the Blades as a big, physical side declaring his side must not be outmuscled.

Philliskirk (pictured) is looking for his side to build on its recent improved form which has seen them win their last three league matches.

Despite picking up a nine-point maximum haul, Latics remain only one point clear of the relegation places.

Philliskirk said: "Now we are out of the FA Cup, we can concentrate of the league.

"It is really tight again at the bottom and hopefully acquiring the points which we need to make us safe which is the most important thing for the club."

Philliskirk believes five more wins, which would take Latics to 51 points, ought to be enough to guarantee safety.

And of tomorrow’s opponents, Philliskirk believes the Blades are well equipped to win promotion from League One.

He explained: "Danny Wilson has assembled a very experienced side this season and they are at the top on merit.

"They missed out at Wembley last season in the play offs and will be looking to go one better this time.

"It will be a really tough game as they a big, physical side, but the way the boys played against Everton, I don’t think we should go into any game in League One fearing who we are playing. Yes, we respect them, but we don’t fear them.

"We know it will be tough, but it is a game we should embrace and look forward to.

"And if we impose ourselves, as we have been doing in recent games, then hopefully we will get the right result."

Philliskirk says little can be gained by the Blades being held at home by Leyton Orient in midweek.

He continued: "Obviously Orient were away so set up differently to frustrate Sheffield United. And that is something we will have to do tomorrow.

"When you played against the top teams – as I touched upon before we played Everton – you have to defend well. And tomorrow we must contain players like Dave Kitson and Barry Robson who have played at a higher level.

"While we will have to concentrate for 90 minutes, we also have to major what we are good at and try to take the game to them and be positive in our mental and physical approach to the game.

"If we do that, I am sure we will give them a game."

Philliskirk says with the Blades having a large following, it will ensure another decent crowd and good atmosphere.

Tomorrow will also be special for Philliskirk on a personal note. He admits he has a great affiliation with the Blades which were his first club as a professional while his son Daniel also played at Bramall Lane until earlier this season.

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