Lane chief seeks a new beginning

Whose fault was that? The debate rages after the Exeter game.
Whose fault was that? The debate rages after the Exeter game.

DANNY Wilson, the Sheffield United manager, will urge his players to begin Saturday’s game at Stevenage in explosive fashion after blaming last weekend’s draw with Exeter City on a lack-lustre start.

Wilson watched in dismay as the South Yorkshire club twice threw away the lead during a dramatic climax to their League One fixture against Paul Tisdale’s side having earlier clawed themselves back from 2-0 down.

The result saw United lose ground on leaders Charlton Athletic despite remaining fourth in the table ahead of their first ever visit to Broadhall Way.

Wilson said: “We didn’t start the game against Exeter at the right tempo. There’s absolutely no doubt about that at all, and it’s something we don’t want to be doing again.

“That’s not a habit I want us to get in to.

“Our passing has been really crisp and sharp of late but it wasn’t to begin with. That’s something we’ve got to try and improve, although, to be fair, it’s not been a feature of our performances.”

Wilson admitted United had been “a shadow” of their usual selves during the opening skirmishes of their contest with Exeter.

He also blamed individual errors for at least three of the four goals they conceded. Daniel Nardiello opened the scoring after 10 minutes following a terrible mix-up between defender Marcus Williams and George Long.

The teenage goalkeeper also being left exposed for Exeter’s fourth and final strike at Bramall Lane.

Privately, coaching staff were expected to conduct an inquest into those errors when United returned to training at Shirecliffe yesterday.

Publicly, though, Wilson refused to “hang anyone out to dry” when he reflected on events with the media.

“I don’t blame the goalie,” he said. “Sometimes you need one of those to learn from and become stronger.

“But if you back-track before that, long before it went in, there were a whole host of things we should have done better to prevent the ball from even ending up there in the first place.

“You can’t ignore those either.”

LEYTON Orient are continuing their investigation into the alleged spitting incident which marred the end of last month’s League One fixture with Sheffield United.

Officials from the South Yorkshire club lodged a formal complaint with both the governing body and their counterparts at Brisbane Road after manager Danny Wilson complained midfielder Matt Phillips had been assaulted by a member of the crowd following the 1-1 draw.

Wilson, describing the incident as “very unsavoury”, called for security around the stadium’s technical area to be reviewed during his post-match press conference while Phillips, on loan from Blackpool, later made reference to the event in United’s programme.

An Orient spokesperson told The Star: “The matter is being dealt with internally and we will respond to Sheffield United in due course.”

Wilson, speaking before Saturday’s visit of Exeter City, said: “As far as I’m aware the club (United) are dealing with that side of things, not me, and they’ll get in touch when they know something.”