Mansfield Town boss David Flitcroft expects another high quality test when Sheffield United visit One Call Stadium for the second of Stags’ four big home pre-season friendlies on Saturday (3pm).
Stags were given a searching defensive examination by a classy
Derby County on Tuesday before shocking the Rams with an unexpected 3-1 victory.
Stags barely had a kick in a gruelling first half, but showed discipline and, ultimately, superb fitness in seeing off the visitors.
Now the manager expects more of the same from Derby’s Championship rivals on Saturday.
“You saw it with Wolves last season. The Premier League is improving all the time and the Championship is trying to catch that up,” said Flitcroft
“These teams and these players are outstanding.
“The Championship is a powerful, robust league – one of the best in the world.
“The job Chris Wilder and Alan Knill have done at Sheffield United is outstanding and has galvanised a set of supporters into bringing half a city together. I have watched it from close ranks.”
He added: “They will come here and be very much Chris Wilder-like with his appetite for the game. So it will be another tough test and probably a little bit different to Derby in the way that they might play.
“We are going to encounter different styles and different ways of playing from teams next season and that’s what you try to build a pre-season programme for.
“Against Derby we saw how our team coped when out of possession. Their discipline was phenomenal.”