Blades: Sheffield United leap over rivals

Sheffield United's Ryan Flynn celebrates after scoring the first Blades goal.
Sheffield United's Ryan Flynn celebrates after scoring the first Blades goal.

DANNY Wilson paid tribute to Sheffield United’s unsung heroes after watching his team climb to second in the League One table.

The sight of James Beattie making his first appearance for United in nearly three years brought Bramall Lane’s crowd to its feet during the closing stages of yesterday’s 2-1 victory over Notts County. Wilson acknowledged Beattie’s return to action had helped United cross the finishing line against Martin Allen’s side - “It gave the fans a lift at a really important time” - but he hailed the contributions Neill Collins and Ryan Flynn made to this hard-fought but crucial win.

“Neill was immense” said Wilson. “He was a head on a stick out there and I couldn’t praise him enough. He’s cleared his lines and got on the end of absolutely everything that came his way. But, to be honest, he’s also been helped out by the performances of those around him at the back too. I want us to try and play good football but it’s that attitude - that type of bloody-minded approach - which has got us on a good run.”

Ryan Flynn, handed a rare start due to Lee Williamson’s suspension, dragged United level after Alan Judge’s free-kick had handed County the lead.

Wilson’s men posted their seventh straight win in all competitions when Alan Sheehan turned the ball into his own net. The result sees them leapfrog arch-rivals Sheffield Wednesday but Wilson said: “It’s nice for our fans but we’re not looking at any other team. We’re not looking at the table either because there’s a long way to go. What we are doing is concentrating on our own performances and trying to see where that takes us. And we’re having to do well because the runs that others are on as well.”

Wilson admitted that Flynn had given him “food for thought” ahead of Hartlepool’s visit on New Year’s Eve. “Ryan is brilliant,” he said. “I’ve got so much time for the lad He’s a clever player with plenty of ability and is so honest. He’s been unlucky because the other lads out wide have done well lately and he’s had to wait for his chance but he’s given us something to think about.”