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View From The Town End: Sheffield United

What should Reading expect from this Saturday’s tough trip to Yorkshire?

Sheffield United v Barnsley - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images

Thanks to Sheffield United fan Chris Davis-Smith, who helped us preview Reading’s trip to Bramall Lane. You can find him on Twitter @ChrisDavisSmith

Sheffield United are flying at the moment, and sit third going into Saturday’s game. Were Blades fans expecting this kind of success, and can you keep it up all season?

Nobody expected Sheffield United to adapt to life in the Championship so comfortably, but it's been very pleasing to see just how competitive we've been in every game so far. Excluding our 2-0 away loss at Cardiff early on in the campaign, I don't feel like we've been outplayed by anybody. If we lose a game, we leave 100% out on the pitch in a bid to salvage something, which the fans appreciate.

The key question now of course being asked now by rival clubs in the division is whether we have the strength in depth to maintain our form. Right now, I feel that if we can remain in the top six until Christmas and bolster the squad slightly in January, then anything is possible under Chris Wilder.

What’s going right for The Blades at the moment?

The key ingredient to this current crop of players at Bramall Lane is the fact they play as a team, without any egos getting in the way of the main objective, which is of course to win football matches. I think at any level of the game this is important, and all the credit must go to Chris Wilder and his coaching staff for instilling this selfless mentality.

Many fans were apprehensive about the step up this year, but the players are growing in self-belief game by game and look more than capable of holding their own against some of the so called 'bigger' names.

And where is there room for improvement?

Right now our ball retention in games is very good. Everybody seems to know everybody else's role, but I'd argue we can sometimes keep the ball too long instead of shooting whilst in dangerous areas.

There have been times where we should've perhaps established stronger advantages in games when we've been on top, but hopefully the team will continue to grow in confidence and naturally become more clinical as the season progresses

Which player should Reading fans be most worried about? Who is your stand-out threat?

The player who everybody is talking about right now is David Brooks. The attacking midfielder penned a new four year contract at Bramall Lane earlier this week after forcing his way into the first team this season, and he's a player who simply gets fans off their seats.

The 20 year-old is a purposeful yet unpredictable dribbler of the ball who creates fear and uncertainty amongst opposition defenders. Whether he's introduced from the bench or starts a game, he has the ability to cause havoc, no matter who he's up against, which was highlighted in his man of the match performance last month against Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough.

Is there anything or anyone that has caught your eye for good or bad reasons in this Reading team?

From an outside perspective, it seems to me that Reading are a team currently in transition. After a gut wrenching play-off final defeat against Huddersfield, it can sometimes take a long time for sides to fully recover from this kind of disappointment and regain their confidence. As a Blades fan, I've seen plenty of our sides over the years suffer from this type of hangover! Despite this, Reading have a squad packed with quality, and last weekend's win at Elland Road indicates that they can still get their campaign back on track.

How do you see the game going? And what will the score be?

Personally, I think United will have a lot of the ball throughout the ninety minutes, it will just depend whether we can convert our opportunities. Reading are blessed with pace going forward, so if the Royals are to get a result, they'll have to be clinical on the counter in my view.

Overall, I expect another quality game of football at Bramall Lane, with momentum helping the Blades to a 2-0 victory.