Blades are ordered to raise their game

Neill Collins: Danny Wilson is full of praise for the Scottish centre-half's performances this season
Neill Collins: Danny Wilson is full of praise for the Scottish centre-half's performances this season

TWO hundred and forty miles separate Goodison and Huish Park.

In footballing terms, though, it may as well be two thousand.

On Wednesday, Sheffield United locked horns with an Everton team boasting six full internationals.

Tomorrow, when they resume their League One campaign at Yeovil Town, Danny Wilson’s players must attempt to overcome more prosaic opponents.

Nevertheless, the United manager has urged his squad to approach the contest with the same passion and which earned them the respect of Tim Cahill and David Moyes following a combative Carling Cup shift in midweek.

“We had to raise our game at Everton,” said Wilson. “And we’ve got to try and do that again too.

“Yeovil are a strong team and although they’ve had some mixed results of late they are always very tough at home.

“We are capable though, if we maintain our standards, of going down there and causing them problems.

“Teams in this division will always raise their games against us because beating Sheffield United is a big confidence booster.

“So what we have to try and do is use that as a role reversal. Make sure that we raise ours too.”

United suffered their first defeat of the season when they were beaten 3-1 on Merseyside.

But despite admitting he had “gone there determined to try and get a result,” Wilson insisted last night that he had “taken plenty of positives” after reviewing DVD footage of the second round tie before training yesterday.

“There’s no way we should be disappointed because it was a lesson learned but not a harsh lesson.

“Everton stretched us a lot at times and that’s only to be expected but I thought we played pockets of good stuff too and we should take it as a compliment that they showed us the respect they did by naming the team they did.

“What we have to do now is try and apply some of the things that Everton did.

“If we’re being honest, we’re never going to be as good as them at the moment because we don’t have the money to buy those types of players.

“But our lads have seen the levels they’ve got to achieve if they want to work at that level of competition.”

A typically whole-hearted effort prompted Cahill to name check fellow midfielder Stephen Quinn after an own goal and strikes from Victor Anichebe and Mikel Arteta cancelled-out Richard Cresswell’s early opener.

Wilson, however, also praised Steve Simonsen and Neill Collins before boarding the coach to Somerset.

Despite enduring difficult seasons en route to relegation last term, both enter United’s first ever meeting with Yeovil in commanding form.

“I don’t want to tempt fate but they’ve done ever so well for me,” said Wilson. “Simmo kept a really good goal at Everton and commanded his area well and Neill showed a lot of character.

“I’ve pulled him to one side on several occasions this season and told him ‘Well done. Brilliant.

“If you keep on telling someone that they’re s**t then they’re going to turn out s**t aren’t they.”


The Teams

YEOVIL TOWN (Possible): Steer, Huntington, N’Gala, Ayling, Ehmer, O’Brien, G Williams, Upson, Wotton, A Williams, Obika.

UNITED (Possible): Simonsen, Lowton, Maguire, Collins, Jean-Francois, Montgomery, Doyle, Williamson, Quinn, Cresswell, Slew.

The Referee

Keith Stroud (Dorset): The 42-year-old has acquired a wealth of experience since being appointed to the National List in 2004 with play-off and FA Cup final appointments on his CV. A former member of Professional Game Match Officials Limited, Stroud was dropped from the Select List in 2009 although the decision was later shown to have breached regulations.

Tale Of The Tape

Yeovil lost their last outing on home soil when they were narrowly beaten by MK Dons. They drew 1-1 with Walsall last time out.