Jack O’Connell last night admitted Sheffield United were handed the toughest possible draw after being paired with Bolton Wanderers in the FA Cup.
But the defender, who is set to make his 24th appearance for Chris Wilder’s side during tomorrow’s second round tie, insisted the visitors are equipped to their League One defeat at the Macron Stadium in August.
“We are probably the two biggest teams left in the competition,” O’Connell said. “The draw probably couldn’t be tougher but it is what it is.
We have to go there and get the win. We are away from home so that means Bolton might come at us a bit more and that could help us. We know it will be a tough tie but Bolton will feel exactly the same way. We are the two biggest names at this stage so they will be fearing us as well.”
O’Connell made his United debut when they were beaten 1-0 by Phil Parkinson’s side on the opening day of the season. Both clubs have since emerged as automatic promotion contenders but O’Connell, the former Brentford centre-half, denied their latest meeting will influence the race for Championship football next term.
“I don’t think it will have any bearing on the league,” he added. “This is a cup game, it’s nothing to do with the league. We don’t get points so that means we can both go out there and play our normal game.”
O’Connell was a member of the Rochdale side which stunned Leeds in the third round of FA Cup two years ago.
The 22-year-old, who was on loan from Blackburn Rovers at the time, said: “A win like that can be a massive boost to everyone at the club.
“No disrespect to Rochdale but they are not as big as Sheffield United. What it meant, though, was Leeds coming to Spotland was big news. A few people also got a move off that game. Not that any of us want that here because this is a big club but we want to put in a good display.
“If we can get through against Bolton, it is the third round and we could get anyone. If we can get through then who knows who we will get? It could be one of the big dogs.”