Sheffield United: Management has changed says Danny

Pointing the way: Danny hopes the Blades are promotion bound.
Pointing the way: Danny hopes the Blades are promotion bound.

FROM the hysteria provoked by social media to the haranguing of Rafael Benitez, Danny Wilson had nearly every angle covered when he discussed the pitfalls of football management yesterday, writes James Shield.

But the subject which really captured his imagination, prompted a noticeable change in the former Northern Ireland international’s mood, was this afternoon’s League One fixture at Oldham Athletic.

Yes, Wilson insisted, Sheffield United are more than capable of prevailing at Boundary Park. But prolonging their unbeaten run in the competition to six games would be anything but easy.

“We’re going to have to be at our very best to take something,” Wilson, speaking ahead of his 100th game in charge of the South Yorkshire club, said. “They’ve got some very good players and they’re on a very good run.

“But we’ll prepare thoroughly as usual and we’re confident on our ability.

“At this stage of the season everybody is fighting for something. The teams at the bottom to stay up, the ones in the middle to get into the play-offs and those of us towards the top to go straight up.

“That’s the beauty of the three point system. Everybody still feels they’ve got a chance.”

With only four separating the division’s leading seven teams, United’s margins for error are uncomfortably slim despite crossing the Pennines in second place and having taken 13 from their previous five outings.

Oldham will kick-off only one above the relegation zone but emboldened by a battling FA Cup performance against Everton in midweek and three back to back league wins.

Michael Doyle, United’s captain, has labelled supporters as “the most important people” in the battle for a top two finish.

Wilson said: “The fans are vital. We’ll be the envy of the division with the amount we get at home and away and we’ve got to utilise that in any way we can.

“There’s no point in worrying about what happened five, 10 or 15 years ago. It’s happened. You can’t change it.

“What you can change, though, is the future. Our fans are so passionate and they can make a big difference.

“We’re all fighting for the same thing and so let’s use everything to our advantage.”

Wilson, who first stepped into the dug-out 19 years ago, said: “Management is a lot harder than it was.

“There’s more money in the game now and it would be hypocritical for us to moan about that but there’s an obvious lack of patience now too and we’ve got to accept that.

“Every single day one of us comes under the spotlight and we’re never highlighted in a good way. Look at Rafa.

“But as (assistant) Frank (Barlow) always says, there is no such thing as a bad job in football. Just some better than others.

“That sums it up perfectly I think. We’re all privileged.”

*Twitter: JamesShield1