Blades escape? Surely it can’t happen - can it?

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Oh no, not now. It’s far too late for fans to start believing again.

Not after weeks and months of resignation to their fate can Sheffield United supporters start to feel hope, that most corrosive and destructive of emotions again.

The last thing any Blade needs now is all the trauma and raised expectations that a win on Saturday over Barnsley might generate.

Surely the time has gone for that?

Surely there can’t be a miracle of those proportions?

Probably not, but hope has never been logical, particularly the hope of the football fan.

Heartbreakingly it will be the youngsters who will cling most steadfastly to that slender hope of a goal difference slip or the last minute reprieve from somewhere, anywhere.

They’ll be there on the front and back pages of the Star with tears in their eyes wondering how it could all have gone the way it did.

Of course, and here it comes, they might actually do it.

No-one believes they can and the reality is that they almost certainly won’t, but it could happen.

And Doncaster Rovers are as likely to take the hit as Crystal Palace.

All it would take to change the world would be a 2-0 and a 3-0 win for United and similar losses for Crystal Palace - or Doncaster - for United to stay up on goal difference.

Stranger things have happened - most notably when the football gods turned against the Blades in 1994 when they lost on the last day to Chelsea in 1994 and fell through the gap created by other struggling teams winning on that fateful day.

It would be unwise to start thinking about another year in the Championship yet but there will be plenty who just won’t be able to stop themselves dreaming the dream.

*Not so long ago we had Blades fans complaining it was all Wednesday in’t Star, about the time of the Hillsborough takeover and shenanagins in the boardroom.

Now the boot is on the other foot, United are floundering and Wednesday, albeit in a division below, sitting comfortably in mid-table.

Now United are getting more column inches and Owls fans are adding up the lines and writing to us saying we’ve ‘always been a United paper’.

Of course neither is true. It’s just a law of the universe that teams struggling will get more written about than teams who are, at least for now, safe.

So the next time you feel like complaining because the other team is getting all the headlines in the paper, think twice. Be careful what you wish for.