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Sheffield United: Defender will be on a promotion rather than revenge mission against Middlesbrough

Jack O'Connell (right) will not be on a revenge mission tomorrow night: Simon Bellis/Sportimage
Jack O'Connell (right) will not be on a revenge mission tomorrow night: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

Jack O’Connell has insisted a sense of injustice following August’s controversial defeat at the Riverside Stadium will not drive Sheffield United on when they face Middlesbrough tomorrow night, claiming the prospect of qualifying for the play-offs is motivation enough.

The centre-half had a last minute equaliser incorrectly disallowed when the two teams met in the North East earlier this term but, speaking ahead of the return fixture with Tony Pulis’ side, he said: “We don’t need any extra incentive. Trying to get into the top six, trying to get into the Premier League, is all that we need.

“Yes, what happened back then was disappointing. I’ve watched it back time and time again and it was definitely a goal. But the only thing that matters now is this game.”

Middlesbrough, who appointed Pulis in December, travel to South Yorkshire in sixth; four points above United with only five matches remaining.

O’Connell, a member of last season’s League One title winning squad, said: “They are a better team now but we are a better team now as well. I fancy us at home against anybody and we won’t be giving up until it’s either mathematically impossible or we get to where we want to be.

“The good thing is that we’ve got games coming up against teams who are in and around us,” he added. “There’s Boro and then Millwall at the weekend. We’ll just be working hard and giving everything.”