MICHAEL Doyle tries to avoid over-complicating matters.
For the combative Sheffield United midfielder, looking too far into the future is a recipe for disaster. His philosophy is to keep things simple.
When asked to explain the Blades’ impressive seven-match winning run, Doyle said: “Football is all about combinations.
“At the minute, I think we are looking strong all over the park.
“It is nice the manager has given us a little bit of credit but I think the two centre-halves and defence overall were outstanding the other day against Notts County. They have given us a platform to build on.
“I think we are all really confident playing with each other. The lads have a lot of trust in one another and it has shown with the results we have had.”
Doyle, who has been challenged to contribute more goals from midfield by manager Danny Wilson, said he was delighted with the battling qualities United demonstrated in front of Sky cameras at home to County as they fought back from a goal down to seal their seventh successive win in all competitions.
“Things didn’t start off the way we would have liked when we went a goal down but I think we showed great character to get ourselves back into the match,” he said.
It was just over 18 months ago Doyle played a starring role in Leeds’ promotion out of League One and the hard-working Dubliner sees no reason why United can’t emulate their Yorkshire rivals.
Indeed, Wilson’s troops moved into the automatic promotion placings after seeing off County 2-1 at Bramall Lane. But despite their superb form, Doyle is refusing to get carried away.
“We have found a winning formula; we have strikers in good form and that always helps, we have people like Stephen Quinn who is always going to create opportunities and we have a back four who are not conceding too many goals,” said Doyle. “That is the formula to win any league. We have got momentum but we have to keep this run going and that is what we are trying to do.”
The vastly-experienced Doyle hopes there will be no personnel changes to United’s squad in the January transfer window but admitted: “Football is a business and we understand the way things work. Some people might go, some people might not. There will probably be a lot of changes in January but there might be none. As a player, you just concentrate on your own stuff and let the management and chairman look after everything else.”
Doyle is wary of the threat Hartlepool will pose this afternoon, kick-off 1pm, saying: “It is going to be a tough game. They started the season really well before falling away.
“They have a new manager in charge which will give them a lift and they will probably bring a good away following with them so I think it is going to be a really difficult game for us.”
Lee Williamson will return at the expense of Quinn, who serves a one-match ban for accruing five yellow cards.
With Richard Cresswell also suspended, Wilson will have to choose between Chris Porter and James Beattie up front to partner Ched Evans.
* Hartlepool defender Evan Horwood started his career at United. He made just one appearance, coming on as a substitute at Reading in the Carling Cup in 2005, before moving to Gretna.