Sheffield United manager Danny Wilson has rubbished claims that the League One fixture planners have disadvantaged his team in the battle for automatic promotion.
Arch-rivals Sheffield Wednesday, one of the sides most likely to thwart Bramall Lane’s hopes of being fast-tracked back into the Championship at the first attempt, kick off four of their remaining seven games earlier than Wilson’s men.
The scheduling has prompted some observers to suggest United could wilt under the pressure if their neighbours post positive results.
But Wilson said: “People keep asking me about it being ‘squeaky bum time’ and I laugh to myself.
“Really, the timing of these games makes absolutely no difference.
“If we go into a game knowing that the team below us hasn’t won then do you think it’s makes us less determined to win ourselves?
“Of course it doesn’t.
“If the teams below us have won then it still doesn’t change.
“We’ll still want to win.
“Nothing is different, nothing at all.”
United, whose final home match against Stevenage next month now starts at 5.20pm after being selected for live television broadcast, travel to Hartlepool today second in the table and two points clear of third-placed Wednesday.
However, with Preston North End’s visit to
Hillsborough kicking off at lunchtime, United could have slipped back into the play-off positions by the time they arrive at Victoria Park.
Reflecting on back to back victories over Notts County and Chesterfield, which have seen United score nine goal and concede only three, Wilson said: “What really pleases me about those performances is the timing.
“To get these type of performances at this stage of the season bodes well.
“But they haven’t decided anything.
“We’ve got to keep on trying to do the same thing and working just as hard as we have been.”
Meanwhile, United Nick Montgomery could miss the rest of the season through injury after damaging a calf muscle while on loan at Millwall.
Fellow United midfielder David McAllister has extended his stay with Shrewsbury Town until April 14.
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