WHAT do Richard Cresswell and Danny Wilson have in common? Both have crossed the great Sheffield divide.
Indeed, both men have represented Sheffield Wednesday as players while Wilson also managed the Owls in the late-90s, recording just 23 victories in 80 matches in charge.
Hundreds of United fans were furious at Wilson’s appointment as boss at the end of May and held a car-park demonstration to vent their frustrations at the board.
Some supporters even unveiled a ‘Love United, Hate Wilson’ banner and chanted ‘Wednesday reject’.
But, having previously worked closely with Wilson and witnessed his methods up close and personal, Cresswell is backing the ex-Northern Ireland international to prove the doubters wrong and lead the club back into the Championship.
“Danny is a top man,” he told The Star.
“Everyone in football knows the sort of guy he is and I am sure he is going to do really well here.
“He is very professional and wants things done right. If he doesn’t like what he sees, he will tell you straight away.
“Yes, he has managed Sheffield Wednesday but that is all in the past now. That was about 10 years ago. He is at Sheffield United and has got the backing of the players and that is all he needs.
“If we can get some positive results on the pitch, hopefully the fans will get behind Danny and his staff.
“Football clubs don’t do well if they change the manager every three to four months so we need some stability.
“Our target is promotion. Anything else would be a failure.”
Wilson, who agreed a three-year deal after replacing Micky Adams at the helm, has vowed to stick to his attacking principles as he looks to revive the club’s fortunes.
As the hunt goes on for new blood, the former Barnsley chief has confirmed he wants to sign a minimum of two creative players who have the ability to excite the fans and unlock defences. Cresswell welcomes the manner in which Wilson wants the club to go about its business.
“Danny wants us to get the ball down, get it wide and get crosses into the box,” said Cresswell, who turns 34 in September. “As a centre-forward, that is what you want.”
Pre-season training holds no fears for Cresswell. Like the rest of the United squad, the Bridlington-born player is being put through his paces by the club’s new fitness and conditioning coach, David Morrison. He says he is glad to be back and can’t wait for their first friendly at Sheffield FC on Saturday.
Cresswell said: “It is tough but you sort of get used to it the older you get. We have done some hard runs on the first few days and some double sessions. It is all for the cause and we know we have to do them to get our fitness levels up.”