NEILL Collins is targeting a top-two finish at the end of the season despite admitting Sheffield United are still in transition after being relegated from the Championship.
And the centre-half aims to help his teammates climb the League One table by scoring rather than simply preventing goals.
United enter today’s home game with Rochdale in fifth place and Collins, a member of the Leeds side which climbed-out of the division 19 months ago, said: “I’d much rather be in the automatic promotions places in April or May rather than now.
“Everyone says this Christmas period is going to be vitally important but every game is important. Not just the ones we are going to be involved in over the next few weeks and, in any case, it’s not actually going to be our busiest time of the season either.
“I’ve been involved with teams that have done well and yet didn’t get great results over the festive period. So, although we always want to do well, this isn’t going to be the be all and end all of everything.”
Goals were on the agenda at Shirecliffe yesterday as manager Danny Wilson tackled questions on Ched Evans - “I don’t see a better striker at this level than him at the moment” - Steve Simonsen - “We never doubted him” - and, of course, the visitors from Spotland - “They’ll be a threat.”
David McAllister, United’s young midfielder, was also a subject for discussion.
“I’m not being critical but I don’t think David did as well as he can in the FA Cup (against Torquay) last weekend,” said Wilson. “He’s got goals in him and he’s a great athlete going box to box.
“David is a cracking lad and he’s got great potential. Hopefully he can get those goals because that’s an area, in midfield, where we do need to score more.”
Collins echoed those sentiments, saying: “My biggest disappointment this season is that I haven’t got on the scoresheet yet because if everyone chips in then it eases the pressure on the lads up front.
“The same goes for defending too. It starts from the front.
“It’s best to be a nice, tight unit.”
United trail second-placed Sheffield Wednesday by four points and Collins added: “It’s not going to take much for us to get right back up there and, equally, it wouldn’t take much for us to lose ground.
“I don’t know where Sheffield Wednesday were this time last year but I’m guessing they were up there and didn’t get promoted that year, which goes to show what this division can be like.
“I’ve always maintained we’re going through a transitional period, but we’ve kept some really good players.”