Scunthorpe United must use underdog tag against Blades, says manager Alan Knill
Manager Alan Knill has told his Scunthorpe United squad to play on the underdog tag against Sheffield United.
The Blades are one of the favourites for promotion this season after falling short in the play-offs last term.
They have though, had to cope with the loss of Stephen Quinn, who joined Hull City on transfer deadline day, with manager Danny Wilson admitting their leading provider of assists will be sorely missed.
It was a sign of the Sheffield club having to balance their budget due to new financial regulations – something the Iron know all about.
"If you're Sheffield United you don't want to lose that calibre of player in Stephen Quinn," said Knill. "But you know that last year he was probably on X amount of pounds more than anybody else in the league - he's a Premier League player so he deserves to be.
"They are cutting, but in relation to us it (their budget) is probably still a whole lot more.
"There's cutting and there's cutting.
"I think everybody feels it, especially the second year (after relegation).
"Last year they had an unbelievable squad, came down with a load of players who were Premier League players.
"Then this year they can't do that because of the capping and everything else, so they have to lose some.
"But they have a huge fan base, so that helps them a lot.
"I live in Sheffield and you always see it and think, 'it's a Premier League club'. Everything about it screams Premier League.
"I'm sure one day they'll be back there but at the moment they're in our league.
"There's huge expectation on them year after year because they're such a big club.
"Sometimes it works for you, sometimes it works against you.
"Everybody expects them to go straight up.
"We're the underdog against Sheffield United and hopefully we can use that.
"We know it's going to be a tough test, but our job is to make it a tough test for them. All we can do is be competitive."
Saturday's game will come too soon for skipper Paul Reid, who had a new cast fitted on his right hand this week after the metalwork, fitted to correct the broken bones, was removed.
That cast should be removed next Tuesday, putting him in line for a return to action against Shrewsbury Town.
"He saw the specialist, had the cast off and had the metalwork out," explained Knill.
"He's just lacking strength in his hand now, so I think it will be next week before he's back.
"We've got a free week next week with no Tuesday game, so hopefully we can get through Saturday and he's good to go next week.
"I think it's Tuesday when he goes back to see the specialist.
"He's had his hand in the cast so he's got no grip.
"He hasn't got as much strength in his grip because he's had the metalwork inside, now he can do some strengthening on his hand.
"Then we're hopeful on Tuesday, once that comes off and he's a lot stronger after a week's work on it, he will be okay."
Mark Duffy is expected to be fit to face the Blades after coming off against Notts County with an Achilles problem in midweek, while Matt Godden has returned from his loan spell at Gainsborough Trinity after picking up a calf injury.