Simonsen rallies team-mates

Keeper Steve Simonsen has called on Sheffield United to give one last rousing display at Bramall Lane when Stevenage visit in the play-offs.

Last Updated: 14/05/12 at 08:48

Simonsen: Hoping to make play-off final

Simonsen: Hoping to make play-off final

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The Blades, who escaped with a 0-0 draw in Friday night's semi-final first leg at Broadhall Way, had a fine regular campaign on home soil, winning 16 of their 23 games and scoring more times than anyone else with 54 goals.

Their last outing at home was their league fixture with Stevenage, where they came from two goals down to draw 2-2 a fortnight ago, and Simonsen wants the Blades to put in a 90-minute performance that will send them to Wembley.

"Hopefully we can finish the job on Monday," he said.

"We passed the test on Friday and hopefully at home with the backing of the crowd we can play more of the football that we're accustomed to, really get behind Stevenage and cause them more problems than we did in the first leg.

"When we're at home we feel as though it's up to us to take the initiative and we've done that all season long. We will be playing no differently to how we have all season long at home.

"It's going to be the last home game of the season and we've got to go out there, give it our all and hopefully book a spot at Wembley."

A few weeks ago it looked unlikely the Blades would be in the play-offs, having led the race for the second automatic promotion spot from rivals Sheffield Wednesday for much of the season.

But a late-season capitulation, which coincided with the jailing of Ched Evans and resulted in taking just two points from their final three games, saw Wednesday pip them at the post.

And Simonsen thinks they are due some luck.

"We have had lots of things go against us in the last four weeks or so. But we have put them to the back of our minds as players and we have got on with the job in hand," he said.

"This game on Monday is going to be one hell of an occasion. As a football player those are the type of games you want to be playing in week-in, week-out.

"We've worked hard all season and this is our reward. We're 90 minutes away from Wembley so we have to make sure all the hard work over the year is not undone by the 90 minutes at Bramall Lane."

Stevenage defender Scott Laird believes his side have learned lessons from their league encounter in South Yorkshire a fortnight ago.

Boro led 2-0 but a late United rally in front of a sold-out Bramall Lane denied Gary Smith's side victory.

"We have talked about how far we have come and it is credit to us that a team like Sheffield United are happy with a 0-0," Laird said, referring to the first leg.

"It is going to be very entertaining. Someone has to win, it might go the distance, it might not.

"We will be going there and if we can get a lead I am sure we won't capitulate like we did last time there.

"We are aware of what to expect playing in front of a big crowd and we have learned from that."

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resumably, Diaby is in this team but receiving treatment

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ithout doing any research I would have to say that Richard Wright is the singular most successful ex Ipswich Town player I know. Yes, thats what the kaleidoscopic whirlwind of highs and lows feels like supporting the Tractor Boys. In other exciting news I saw two, count them, TWO squirrels today. What a start to August.

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