DANNY Wilson has told his players to win this weekend’s Steel City derby by any means necessary.
Despite vowing to transform Sheffield United’s long-ball image after being appointed manager at Bramall Lane, the former Northern Ireland international reassured supporters last night that he will emphasise the need for substance rather than style when the first-team squad completes its preparations tomorrow for Sunday’s match.
“These matches are always difficult to predict but what I can safely say is that we are going to have to be ready for a high-tempo game,” said Wilson.
“It’s going to be hammer and tongs out there.
“We’ve got to be ready for that.
“The atmosphere is going to be superb. It’s going to be something else, I’m sure.
“We want to use that to our advantage.
“I’d like to think it will inspire our lads.
“It’s a chance for them to go down in the history of this football club. That should drive them on.”
United are seventh in the table after losing their last two League One games but advanced into the Northern Area quarter-finals of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy by beating Rotherham earlier this month.
Sheffield Wednesday climbed to second when they recorded their fourth straight win by beating Chesterfield last weekend.
Wilson refused to reveal exactly what he will say to his players, including Neill Collins and Stephen Quinn, immediately before kick-off - “That’s going to stay in house. It’s between us and nobody else”
- but he did confirm: “I don’t want anybody to under-estimate this game or what it means to the fans.
“And I want them, if possible, to remember it and enjoy themselves as much as they can. But they’re only going to do that if we win it. That’s just another motivation for everyone concerned.”
United’s under-18s take part in a derby of their own when they hosts Leeds at Shirecliffe tomorrow.