Manager David Weir has issued a rallying call to Sheffield United’s fans, insisting: “Stick with us, and we will get this right”.
Weir, whose charges still haven’t tasted league victory since their opening-day win over Notts County, takes his side to the Midlands to face Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday hoping to avoid a sixth successive league defeat.
Wolves, who are expected to field former United man Kevin McDonald in their starting line up, represent probably the toughest test so far for Weir’s men, and the former Scottish international said: “We’re finding out a lot about people around us, and about ourselves, in these difficult times.
“I understand fans’ frustrations, none of us enjoy getting beat on a Saturday, but the majority are being positive and believe in what we are trying to do.
“That’s great for us, as we are desperate to be successful. And the things we are putting in place will make that happen.
“You can see from game to game that there’s a continual improvement there, and we’re putting together a team that is going to be successful in the long term.
“The jigsaw is starting to fall into place.”
“My message,” Weir continued, “would be for fans to stick with us. We said when we came in that there would be a lot of changes.
“That doesn’t justify losing five games on the bounce, nothing does, and we’re not happy with the current situation. Far from it.
“But we need time to continue building what we are doing, and I think it will be successful.”
Saturday’s game will be the first time United have come up against McDonald since his move to Wolves, and Weir said: “Wolves are a very good team, they have some talented players and very good options. I’m sure they’ll be aiming for automatic promotion.
“It was a blow to lose Kevin, of course it was, and it took us a while to replace him.
“But we knew the situation with the clause in his contract, and it was his decision to leave at the end of the day.
“We went out and got Jose Baxter as a replacement, and when he’s had time to settle in, I think we’ll see his true quality.”
Indeed, Baxter has made a bright start to his United career since arriving from Oldham in the latter stages of the transfer window.
The former Everton youth has showed glimpses of the talent thatgave him a reputation as one of English football’s brighest young talents during his time at Goodison Park - but is still to taste victory for his new club.
“I’m sure once we get that first win, we’ll push right on,” the 21-year-old said.
“It’s been the same story for the last few games; we’ll play teams off the park, but not put the ball in the back of the net.
“Once we do that, we’ll go from there and kick on. We’re preparing to face a tough Wolves side, but if we go there and get a result it’ll give us a lot of confidence.”
Ryan Hall, secured on a temporary basis from Yorkshire neighbours Leeds, could keep his place after an encouraging debut in the defeat to Preston North End last weekend.
“Ryan is an exciting player,” Weir added.
“He’s got a great left foot, he’s got pace and he can score goals.
“He’ll help us going forward, give us another dimension and he’s just one of the exciting forward players we have available to us.”