John Fleck believes a moment of magic will settle today’s crucial Yorkshire derby between Sheffield United and Leeds.
But Fleck, one of Bramall Lane’s most influential players, concedes Chris Wilder’s side must still learn how to grind-out results as they chase back to back promotions.
United, who are eighth in the Championship table with 16 matches remaining, enter the lunchtime fixture five points behind sixth-placed Bristol City and two ahead of the visitors.
Fleck, a member of the team which triumphed 2-1 at Elland Road earlier this term thanks to a late goal from David Brooks, said: “These games are great and why the manager wanted to get promotion straightaway. Games like this are what you want to play for, all the boys are looking forward to it.
“At Leeds, we won with Brooksy’s goal, a bit of magic from David, and hopefully we can get something like that this weekend. Derbies are usually tight, not the best to watch football-wise, it’s all about the result. Hopefully someone can step up with a goal out of nothing, another moment of magic, and get the three points for us.”
Brooks is expected to miss the meeting with Leeds, who appointed Paul Heckingbottom as manager on ...., as he continues his recovery from glandular fever. The contest takes place 48 hours after it emerged HRH Prince Abdullah bin Mosaad bin Abdulaziz Al Saud is holding talks with fellow co-owner Kevin McCabe about acquiring sole control of United; 10 months after they were crowned League One champions. Although several of his advisors are expected to be present as discussions about transferring United’s real estate interests continue, it remains unclear whether Prince Abdullah will attend the game in person.
Speaking on Thursday, Wilder insisted he was “focused on the football” rather than events off the pitch following a chequered sequence of results in recent weeks.
“We have played well at times and got beat,” Fleck conceded. “Then we play Preston in the (FA) Cup and the game is pretty boring but win 1-0. It was a penalty, but we have done well not to concede. Sometimes, games like that are probably better for us, than playing well.”