HARD work and good organisation have been the cornerstones behind Sheffield United’s success during the 2012/13 campaign.
The League One heavyweights demonstrated those qualities in abundance yet again in midweek to secure a goalless draw at fellow promotion candidates Swindon Town.
Their ability to keep picking up points when not always playing at full tilt has propelled the Bramall Lane club into the automatic promotion berths. The side were under the cosh for long periods at the County Ground, with the Robins hitting the woodwork twice. But United could have snatched maximum points late on through Neill Collins.
Danny Wilson, the Blades manager, felt they “thoroughly deserved” a point and feels the strikers epitomised their work ethic. Praising the contribution of top-scorer Nick Blackman and Chris Porter, he said: “They worked ever so hard out there.
“They were being buffeted by four six foot defenders and that isn’t easy. We didn’t create a lot (at Swindon) but we put in a real shift and that was important.
“It’s good to see that type of attitude, where they all dig in, among the lads. If they’ve been criticised then I think that’s unfair and wrong.
“We got better and stronger as the game got on against a very physical Swindon side.
“We had one lucky escape as a deflection hit the post but as the game went on we got a little bit more composure, space to play and created more chances.”
Before the draw at Swindon, United had won six in a row on their travels at Yeovil Town, Hartlepool United, Leyton Orient, Notts County (in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy), Preston North End and Bristol Rovers in the FA Cup, conceding just three goals.
Wilson’s men complete their away triple header at MK Dons this weekend bidding to extend their unbeaten league run to 17 matches. It was the Dons who derailed their promotion charge last season when they defeated Wilson’s side 1-0 in April.
“I said beforehand that if we can come out of the next three games still unbeaten then that will be a real achievement,” insisted Wilson.
“They’ll be tough games but, then again, they’re all tough. Make no mistake, Swindon will be up there challenging at the end of the season.
“Being top, I suppose, is a reflection of the fact we’ve been consistent but there’s a long, long way to go yet. All we are looking at is one result at a time.”