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Bradford City form guy Nathan Doyle out to blunt Blades again
Nathan Doyle has history with Sheffield United – he helped relegate them.
Doyle is unbeaten in four previous brushes with the Blades for Barnsley, including the 2-2 draw at Bramall Lane at the end of the 2010-11 season which confirmed their drop to League One.
“It was a big occasion because they had to win,” he smiled. “But the noise level of both sets of fans was brilliant.
“They were always big games because they were derbies and I’m sure it will be the same at Valley Parade tomorrow.
“The Bradford City fans always turn out in force. It will be a loud encounter and we don’t want to let them down.
“The fans make the difference. Even if you do a bad pass, they cheer you on to get on the ball again and you do notice that.”
Doyle has started the new term in outstanding form, which he puts down to getting a proper pre-season behind him – something he missed out on last year.
He added: “We’ve worked really hard with (fitness coach) Nick Allamby, and the gaffer and Parky (Steve Parkin) have been on top of me all the time.
“Coming back into the season in shape has made a big difference.
“Last year I was always playing catch-up and with so many games it was really hard for me to get the fitness side of the work in. This time it’s been much better. We’ve had a good break after a gruelling season, had the week in Ireland and we’ve started the league fairly well.
“Huddersfield was difficult in the cup but I think the league form has been good.”
Sheffield United visiting Valley Parade in front of an audience expected to be around 17,000 offers the perfect stage to recover from last week’s setback at Port Vale – their first since stepping up a level.
Doyle admitted: “It was a tough one to take but that’s what football is all about. It wouldn’t be the same sport if it was easy all the time.
“That’s out the way now and hopefully we’ll bounce back with three points at home.
“You take a look at the fixtures as soon as you get them and seeing a Yorkshire derby so early on is good for the fans and the lads.
“For the fans, they know it’s going to be a really good atmosphere and it gives us that stage to find out where we are. It’s going to be a battle.
“I’ve seen Sheffield United a few times and know they are a good passing side. But we’ve got our game-plan and can hopefully come out on top.”
Whether Doyle can blunt the Blades again with a rare goal is another thing. Having scored only two last term – both on the same February night at Wycombe – he had a net-bound blast against Vale deflected away off the head of an unwitting home defender.
“My goals are like buses. You wait ages and then two come along at once!
“As long as the team are scoring and doing well, it doesn’t matter about personal pride. I’d rather stop a shot or goal or set one up for Nahki (Wells) or Hans (James Hanson).
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