Blades ‘Can Tough It Out’

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DANNY Wilson believes Sheffield United have the mental toughness required to survive a promotion battle.

But, speaking after watching his side remain second in the League One table following Saturday’s win over Hartlepool, Wilson warned that any hint of complacency will be ruthlessly punished as the scramble for Championship places gathers pace.

“We’ve got a lot of experience here,” the United manager said. “Players who know what it takes to see these types of situations out because they’ve been in them and enjoyed success before.

“But there’s still a long, long way to go yet and there are bound to be plenty of twists and turns because that’s what this division is like.

“We’re snapping at the heels of (leaders) Charlton right now and they’re going to have to deal with that pressure. Who knows? Soon it could be us who are top and then we’d have to show we can deal with it too or equally it could be anyone else from the chasing pack.

“We have to remain calm and level-headed. Without being unkind we can’t be up and down in terms of our mood like a supporter can be. We’ve got to approach things differently and that’s why I’m pleased we’ve got that experience here.”

United, who will look to extend their winning run to nine games at Carlisle this afternoon, delivered their best performance of Wilson’s seven month reign against Hartlepool with Ryan Flynn, Chris Porter and Ched Evans hitting the target before Peter Hartley’s late consolation for the visitors.

Nevertheless, events during the transfer window could have a crucial bearing on United’s fortunes during the remainder of the campaign.

Evans, Stephen Quinn, Matthew Lowton and George Long have all attracted admiring glances from elsewhere while Fulham are reportedly monitoring Harry Maguire’s progress at Bramall Lane.

Capturing Marcus Williams, who last night completed his anticipated switch from Reading, on a two-and-a-half year contract, provides some much-needed depth.

The emergence of Scottish youngster Flynn could also tempt United to rekindle their interest in Glasgow Rangers’ John Fleck. The SPL champions are known to be keen on loaning Fleck to Bramall Lane after Wilson was forced to controversially abort a previous move for the teenager and his Ibrox team mate Kyle Hutton earlier this term.

However, Wilson dismissed claims that United have attempted to hi-jack Ben Marshall’s proposed switch from Stoke City to Sheffield Wednesday: “It’s rubbish,” Wilson said. “Absolute rubbish.

“Someone has probably decided to put it on the internet and because of that everyone thinks it’s true but I have not spoken to anyone at Stoke.”