DANNY Wilson, the Sheffield United manager, insisted last night’s dramatic 2-1 victory at Hartlepool proves beyond doubt that his team possess the mental strength required challenge for promotion this season.
The visitors appeared on course for a comfortable win when Dave Kitson scored his second goal in as many games during a hard-fought first half.
But when Steve Howard equalised for Neale Cooper’s side, United survived a huge test of character courtesy of Paul Gallagher’s late strike.
Wilson said: “What impressed me the most was we didn’t panic. We struck to our guns and got the win we wanted.
“Yes, we rode our luck at times and some people might say we didn’t deserve all three points.
“But I don’t really care because we’ve played better in the past and not got what we warranted.”
Wilson added: “That was every bit as tough as we warned it would be.
“But we stood up to the physical challenge well in difficult conditions.”
Meanwhile, Wilson, who described United’s performance at Victoria Park as “really determined,” has confirmed Lecsinel Jean-Francois will not be thrust straight back into senior action despite making significant progress in his battle for fitness.
Jean-Francois, a Haiti international, returned to training ahead of United’s visit to County Durham seven months after damaging ligaments in a knee.
“Lecsy is coming along nicely but he’s still very rusty which is understandable,” Wilson acknowledged.
“He’s had a few games with the rest of the lads and you can see, in certain terms, he’s not quite up to speed yet.
“But he will be.
“We’ll carry on with his work and then look to get him involved with the under-21’s first.”