Blades send sharp warning to Ipswich

SHEFFIELD United coach Sam Ellis has sent a sharp warning to Ipswich Town.

Derek Davis

SHEFFIELD United coach Sam Ellis has sent a sharp warning to Ipswich Town.

Although Ellis has the highest regard from the tradition of the Blues he knows his team will be looking for some swift retribution after going down 3-1 at home to Wolves on Tuesday as Town were losing at Birmingham City.

Ellis said: “While we were not happy with the result against Wolves we were happy with the performance.

“To be fair to our players they always respond well to a setback.

“Ipswich are always formidable opponents at home. They like to play football so we know exactly what to expect.

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“Hopefully that will bring out the best in us.”

Ellis is hoping the Portman Road crowd will provide a good atmosphere in the right way, even though Sheffield United are known as 'the Norwich of the North.'

Ellis said: “We are looking forward to playing Ipswich. To my mind Portman Road is a proper, old-fashioned football ground. The fans get right behind their team no matter what is happening on the pitch.”

The Blades are looking for their cutting edge up front to spill blood with James Beattie among the Championship's leading goalscorers.

Strike partner Billy Sharp is looking to end a 10-game goal drought and has Darius Henderson and Danny Webber are pushing for a start.

United could be without talisman Gary Speed, who has a back problem but travelled down with the squad last night and will be given until a couple of hours before kick-off to prove his fitness.

If the experienced midfielder does not come through then Matthew Spring will fill the central midfield spot.

Former Colchester United defender Greg Halford is being used on the right side of midfield after Kyle Naughton made the right-back spot his own, while Stephen Quinn, brother of Town's out of favour Alan, plays on the left and gets among the goals.

Ugo Ehiogu is available after suspension but could struggle to get back into the meanest defence in the division.

Meanwhile the legal battle over the Carlos Tevez affair will stretch into the New Year after West Ham lodged an appeal against a High Court ruling in Sheffield United's favour.

Mr Justice Teare granted a temporary injunction stopping West Ham appealing to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) over a ruling that it had breached Premier League rules in playing the striker, now at Manchester United.

The Hammers have lodged an appeal against the judge's decision, and the matter will return to the High Court for a full trial next year when Sheffield United will be seeking a permanent injunction.