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Dubliner Doyle wants the Blades to earn their spurs in cup semi-final


Michael Doyle

Michael Doyle

Michael Doyle

Sheffield United captain Michael Doyle accepts his side must lift their game to an even higher level if they are to pull off another upset in their two-legged League Cup semi-final against Tottenham tonight.

But the Dubliner insists if the tie is still alive after tonight’s first leg at White Hart Lane, Nigel Clough’s cup specialists will have “a brilliant chance” in the return leg at Bramall Lane.

Clough’s Sky Bet League One side have beaten West Ham and Southampton to reach the last four and if that was not enough to serve Tottenham with a big enough warning, the Blades’ exploits in the FA Cup these past two seasons add extra credence to their latest challenge.

“There’s a lot to play for and I’m sure Tottenham will be fired up,” Doyle said.

“They’ll look at our previous results and performances in other cup games and I’m sure they’ll take note of that. They won’t underestimate us, especially as we’ve come so far and they’ll be looking to finish it in the first leg, so we’ve got to be on our guard.

“I just hope we can keep the tie alive. If we can, coming back to Bramall Lane will give us a brilliant chance.”

Doyle led the Blades out at Wembley in last season’s FA Cup semi-final defeat to Hull - Aston Villa and Fulham were beaten along the way - while this year West Ham and Southampton, in the League Cup, and QPR, in the FA Cup, have all been despatched.

When asked to account for the Blades’ imperious cup form, Doyle added: “I haven’t got a clue to be honest with you, but since the Aston Villa game we’ve embraced everything about the cups and these ties.

“We’ve gone out with no fear in them and produced some of our best performances in a long time.

“The cup games have left people scratching their heads and asking why we can’t replicate that form in the league.”