SHEFFIELD United’s Neill Collins last night credited Danny Wilson’s down-to-earth approach with helping to steer the club through one of the most stormy chapters in its recent history.
Collins, a member of the squad which was relegated from the Championship earlier this year, admitted Bramall Lane is going through a turbulent period as players, coaching staff and officials alike adjust to life in League One.
Despite predictions that Wilson, who took charge when Micky Adams failed to avert the threat of relegation in May, would struggle to oversee a smooth transition, United entertain Exeter City today fourth in the table.
Collins said: “Results always dictate the mood in a dressing room but the attitude of the manager has really helped too. He doesn’t get carried away with anything and keeps everything on an even keel.
“In fairness to Micky, he came in half way through a season and at a time when it was difficult for him to stamp his authority on things.
“But the manager now was with us all the way through pre-season and that’s given us a continuity. We’re encouraged to express ourselves and I think it’s fair to say that everyone enjoys that.”
Collins added: “There’s a different format and a different system to bed down and some young players coming through.
“But we’re progressing to where we want to be.”
United will stretch their unbeaten run to six games if they beat Paul Tisdale’s side. A midweek win over MK Dons saw them bounce back from the disappointment of conceding a 96th minute equaliser at Leyton Orient last Saturday.
Collins said: “Football is a funny game. We beat MK Dons and everyone is really positive but if we’d lost then everyone would have been getting agitated instead.
“To look at the league table now is a bit premature. Danny doesn’t. He’s a good manager with a steady head and he’s seen it all before.”
Wilson appointed Frank Barlow as his assistant after accepting United’s invitation to take charge. The two men had previously worked together at Sheffield Wednesday and Bristol City.
“Everyone I spoke to in the game told me how good Frank was before he came in and I can see now why they did,” Collins said. “I really respect him.
“The manager here knows how important Frank is because he’s worked with him a lot in the past.”