Blades: Wilson’s head rules his heart as duo eye return

Key player: Neill Collins has been missed by United.
Key player: Neill Collins has been missed by United.
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DANNY Wilson has vowed not to let emotion cloud his judgment when Sheffield United unveil their starting 11 for today’s League One fixture with Tranmere Rovers.

Confirming that Kevin McDonald (hamstring) and Neill Collins (personal matters) could both return to action against Ronnie Moore’s side, the United manager admitted last night he faces a difficult call regarding team selection.

Wilson said: “If Neill and Kevin are 100 per cent okay then it’s going to be a tough decision.

“The players who have come in have done well but we’ll have a good look at them both in training and possibly even on the morning of the match itself.”

Collins has missed United’s previous four games after being granted compassionate leave before the recent defeat by Oldham. McDonald has been absent since last month’s visit of Preston North End.

Both reported for duty ahead of Tuesday’s draw at Colchester, a result which saw second-placed United move two points clear of Sheffield Wednesday in third.

“Neill wanted to play down there but I didn’t think for one minute he was ready,” Wilson said. “It will be a professional decision, not an emotional one.

“It’s fantastic to have him back. He’s been a leader and he’s left a hole.”

“We won’t gamble with him or Kevin,” Wilson added. “That’s one thing we definitely won’t do.”

Despite being forced to settle for a share of the spoils at the Weston Homes Community Stadium, Wilson told yesterday’s pre-match media conference: “I think a few people will have expected us to get beat down there. People will think, because it was a game in hand for us ,that it was a case of two points dropped.

“It’s not. It’s a case of a point gained.

“We won at Brentford last weekend and so, as far as I’m concerned, that’s a good return from two really difficult matches.

“When the initial date down there (Colchester) got postponed, they had a few things going against them but they’ve been on a fine run lately.

“And we knew that, going down there under floodlights, would make it even more difficult.”

United entertain another club in a rich vein run of form this afternoon. Rovers are unbeaten since Moore returned to Prenton Park to save them from relegation 12 days ago.

“At this stage, with 10 matches remaining, it’s all about the points,” Wilson said.

“You hope points come with performances but whether it’s a game for the purists or a game for the Dog and Duck so be it.

“Some teams will drop away at this juncture. I don’t think mine will.

“It’s all about the mental not the physical side of things now. My lads are towards the top showing the determination they said they would at the start of the season.”

Wilson added: “Ronnie has come in and has some really good results. He’s given them a chance. I’m sure they’ll be okay.

“But here, the onus is on us and if we play how I know we can play then I’m always confident about the outcome.

“We’ll do whatever it takes to come through but we will always try to be offensive and positive going forward.”

* DID YOU KNOW: Dave Russell, previously of Dundee, East Fife and Sheffield Wednesday, opted to change the colour of Tranmere’s shirts from blue to white after taking charge in the early 60s.