MARCUS Williams, the Sheffield United defender, has admitted must address their indifferent home form or risk losing ground in the race for promotion from League One, writes James Shield.
But Williams, who is expected to start today’s meeting with Yeovil Town, insisted Danny Wilson’s latest squad are a more durable proposition than the team which reached the play-off final last term.
Despite losing just once at home in the competition all season, United have drawn six of their 13 outings so far at Bramall Lane.
Identifying this afternoon’s visit of Gary Johnson’s side as an opportunity to improve that record, Williams said: “We’ve done well on the road but we want to do even better at our own ground.
“We’ve been creating lots of chances, lots of openings but we’ve not really punished anyone yet. Hopefully we will.”
“What we’ve got to try and do is come bursting right out of the blocks,” Williams added. “We did that in our last game (against Oxford) in the FA Cup and it laid down a marker, set the tone for the rest of the game.
“So we’ll be looking to carry on that pattern again. It’s something we’ve spoken about and are going to try our best to do.”
United, placed third in the table, parted company with key players such as Stephen Quinn, Matthew Lowton and Lee Williamson following May’s defeat at Wembley by Huddersfield Town.
Nevertheless, new arrivals such as Nick Blackman, Dave Kitson and most recently Jamie Murphy have enabled United, three points behind leaders Tranmere Rovers, to soften the blow.
And, according to Williams, given Wilson’s charges a more rugged edge.
“This season, we’re probably more stable in terms of the players positions,” he continued. “There’s not so much floating around and letting people drift here and there.
“Don’t get me wrong, I thought we were dangerous last season but that’s an area where I actually think we’re better now. It’s something the manager probably looked at over the summer and has improved.
“We’ve got more of a threat across the pitch now too. In the past we were really reliant on one or two players to score our goals but this time around there are people like Kits and Blacky who all contribute.
“And, if they don’t score, then someone like Macca (Tony McMahon) has shown he can chip in with free-kicks while Jamie is obviously going to give us something extra up top as well.”
Williams had made 23 appearances for United this season. Wilson has frequently deployed the former Reading, Scunthorpe and Peterborough full-back on the wing, especially when opponents are adept at exploiting the full width of the pitch.
However, with Matt Hill and Neill Collins both nursing serious facial injuries, the 26-year-old seems certain to be handed a deeper lying role against Yeovil.
Citing United’s recent decision to sign Danny Higginbotham from Stoke City as an astute piece of business, Williams said: “We do want to tighten up at the back because we’ve given away some soft goals rather than making opponents really work hard for them.”