GARGANTUAN, monumental, titanic, writes James Shield. Sheffield United’s game against Brentford tomorrow has been described as all of these and more.
But, as Danny Wilson was at pains to remind yesterday, it will not be decisive. This season’s race for the Championship is too tight, too volatile, for someone possessing the former Northern Ireland international’s experience to try and predict exactly how it will unfold.
“This division changes with every result,” Wilson said. “It is incredible really and I’ve never known things as tight as they are this year.
“I think it will go to the wire. If it doesn’t and we are the ones who run away with it then I’ll be delighted. But the trend at the moment is for the table to fluctuate every single game and I don’t see why that will change.”
United received an unwelcome reminder of League One’s capricious nature when they were beaten 4-0 by lowly Stevenage last weekend. The scoreline not only brought the visitors’ unbeaten seven match sequence to a shuddering halt but also, as Wilson made clear during yesterday’s media briefing at Shirecliffe, provoked what he believes is undue criticism of his side.
Asked whether United could “afford to lose” against Brentford, he replied: “There is always a negative. We won’t be out of it if we lose and we won’t have won the Championship if we win.
“People get carried away with 90 minutes of football and it drives me up the wall. Every week, there is a reason to ask a question.
“I am getting fed up with the question because it is a stupid question. Of course we are going to be disappointed if we lose the game and obviously we’ll be ecstatic if we win.
“That is the problem. People don’t seem to understand that we have to look to the next game every week.
“We don’t get carried away, whereas others possibly do.”
“Last week, everything was doom and gloom,” Wilson added. “That p**ses me right off. Let’s just get on with the game and enjoy it like we are doing.
“We were vastly disappointed last week but we bounce back. We are near the top of the division for a reason and that is because we are a bloody good side.
“You lose one game and, all of a sudden, the house is crumbling. But it isn’t.”
Brentford are second despite losing two of their previous four outings. United, fourth but having played less games than all of their promotion rivals, know victory would see them regain the runners-up berth if Swindon Town draw or lose.