By Mike Collett
SHEFFIELD United are aiming to beat a Premier League side for the fourth time this season when they meet Tottenham Hotspur in their Capital One (League) Cup semi-final on Wednesday night (9.45pm) and have no intention of going soft on their rivals.
The League One (third tier) club knocked West Ham United, Southampton and Queens Park Rangers out in earlier rounds and Spurs could become their sixth top-flight victims in a year following FA Cup wins last season over Aston Villa and Fulham.
Since Nigel Clough – whose father Brian was the losing manager when Spurs beat Nottingham Forest in the 1991FA Cup final – took over in November 2013, the Blades have lost just once in 17 Cup matches.
They have not been as successful in League One where they are battling for a place in the playoffs, and come to London for the first leg of the semi-final having lost 1-0 to Milton Keynes Dons at the weekend.
Although they are seventh in the table, 18 points behind leaders Swindon Town, their attacking midfielder Jose Baxter says the Blades will be out to cut Spurs down to size from the kick-off.
Baxter, who made seven Premier League appearances for Everton before leaving in 2012, told reporters: “Once you beat the big teams your confidence grows.
“They will be wary because we have knocked a few big teams out,” adding Spurs will not relish their physical approach.
“Marc McNulty, our striker, against Southampton was a prime example. We were just clipping the ball down the channels for him to get into their centre halves and I think they were a bit shocked by that.
“They don’t really get that in the Premier League, everything is into feet and nice. They don’t really touch each other, they aren’t used to getting barged about, people in their faces, kicking them and not helping them up when they get kicked. It works for us.
“There’s a lot of ‘matey, matey’ in the Premier League,” he said.
“I’ve got a couple of mates in football, but I don’t like it at all – hugging and kissing each other before games and all that. They’re nice, they don’t want to get kicked and they’re all great, technical players.
“It’s just when they come to play us and we give them a few kicks, they don’t like it.”