Sheffield United: Weir tired hard luck stories

Sheffield United manager David Weir reflects on his team's misfortune against Preston North End
Sheffield United manager David Weir reflects on his team's misfortune against Preston North End

David Weir has had his fill of tough luck stories, writes James Shield.

The Sheffield United manager’s wife would doubtless agree.

Nevertheless, despite extolling the value of hard work and principle as he attempts to transform his team’s season, Weir insisted they have suffered from poor fortune of late.

“I know it’s tough for the fans and the players at the moment,” the former Scotland international, whose side enter Saturday’s meeting with Wolverhampton Wanderers having suffered five consecutive League One defeats, said. “They will be having exactly the same weekend we do after a disappointing result.

“The pain is obvious but you’ve just got to keep on coming back. Putting the effort in until things turn around and you get those breaks.

“In fairness to the lads, I don’t think they’ve been getting them recently. I’m not one of those people who likes to feel hard done by because, generally, you get what you deserve in life.

“But I do feel that, when it comes to luck, the lads have had nothing but bad lately.”

Weir was referring to the two penalty claims, both rejected by referee Fred Graham, either side of Stuart Beavon’s winning goal for Preston North End last weekend.

First Febian Brandy, who is expected to feature in a four strong attack at Molineux, claimed his shot had struck Bailey Wright on an arm before Keith Keane also appeared to handle a cross.

“The fact is that we didn’t get them,” Weir said. “So that is that.

“You don’t achieve anything from focusing on things like that, whatever your thoughts are.

“I prefer to focus on the things we can control. Improving those areas where we can do better and even those areas where we are already doing well.

“I honestly and genuinely believe that the boys have been worth more than they’ve been getting lately.

“But of course I also accept that we need results.”

With that in mind, United could adopt a more combative approach in the Black Country where Kenny Jackett’s charges have made a solid start to life in the third tier.

Last weekend’s victory over Shrewsbury Town at Greenhous Meadow was their sixth in eight outings although it came at a price with Leigh Griffiths damaging an ankle towards the end of the game.

The centre-forward is Wolves’ joint-leading goalscorer this term.

Kevin McDonald, previously of United, will face his former club less than seven weeks after telling Weir he wanted to leave Bramall Lane.

Jose Baxter, who arrival from Oldham Athletic has filled the void created by McDonald’s departure, is among 11 new players to join United since Weir’s appointment in June.

The two most recent, Marlon King and Ryan Hall, made their debuts against North End.

Despite refusing to make drastic changes to his modus operandi - which demands United pass the ball rather than play percentages - their presence did allow Weir to adopt a more direct approach during the meeting with Simon Grayson’s side.

“They bring something different to the table for us,” he said. “Naturally, there does have to be a little patience because people don’t just settle straight in.

“So we’ve got to show a bit of that, definitely. But that doesn’t mean we also acknowledge the need for results.”

Meanwhile, United have been paired with Birmingham City in the Premier League under-21 Cup. The match takes place at Bramall Lane on Monday 28 October (kick-off 1pm).

*Twitter: @JamesShield1