SHEFFIELD United have been told not to dwell on past mistakes or risk losing focus in the battle for promotion from League One.
Danny Wilson, the United manager, issued his latest order after watching his players throw away six points in their last five games by squandering leads against Exeter City, Leyton Orient and Sheffield Wednesday.
Had United not conceded late equalisers during those fixtures then they would travel to Stevenage this weekend second in the table and within touching distance of leaders Charlton Athletic.
But Wilson, whose side remained fourth despite being held by Paul Tisdale’s side, said: “If my auntie had b***s then she would be my uncle.
“There’s nothing to be gained from thinking about what might or might not have been. Nothing at all.
“I’m not interested in all of that. What I am interested in is dealing with the situation in hand and concentrating on that.”
Although Wilson paid tribute to United’s character after they clawed themselves back from 2-0 down against Exeter, he expressed concern at the individual errors which are starting to pockmark otherwise impressive displays.
Echoing those sentiments, captain Nick Montgomery said: “The same thing, conceding late goals, is costing us time and time again at the moment and that has seen us drop a lot of points, which is frustrating.
“We know we should be doing better and in the end we should have comfortably got the three points against Exeter.
“We know we have to do better and if we do then we will be there or there abouts but it is vital we stop dropping points.”
Montgomery added: “We recovered from two down and having been off the pace against Exeter and did well after the break.
“But we must be holding on for the win.”
United reviewed video footage of the mistakes which wrecked their hopes of dispatching Tisdale’s men at Shirecliffe yesterday.
However, Wilson is adamant there is nothing to be gained by looking for scapegoats.
Speaking earlier this week, he
said: “You can look at errors but it’s also important to look at events leading up to them as well. You mustn’t ignore those.
“It’s the whole chain of events that’s important. Scroll back and there are often things that other people could have done better too.
“That’s the most constructive and beneficial thing to do.”
Tenth-placed Stevenage extended their unbeaten run to four after goals from Byron Harrison and Mark Roberts saw the beat Bury 2-1 at Gigg Lane four days ago.
United last tasted defeat when Charlton triumphed 2-0 at Bramall Lane on October 1 and entertain Bradford City in the Northern Area quarter-finals of
the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy next week.
Wilson must decide whether to recall goalkeeper Steve Simonsen at Broadhall Way after selecting teenager George Long against MK Dons and Exeter.
Meanwhile, tickets priced £25 per head or £199.10 for a table of 10, are still available for the reunion of the United team which beat Wednesday 2-0 at Bramall Lane 20 years ago.
Dane Whitehouse, Carl Bradshaw, Tommy Cowan, John Gannon, Brian Deane and Brian Gayle are among those expected to attend the event, which takes place in the Platinum Suite, on Thursday November 17.
Telephone 08719 951889 to book or for further details.
United’s Central League meeting with Nottingham Forest has been postponed to avoid clashing with Bradford’s visit.
The match had been scheduled for Tuesday but will now be re-arranged for a later date.
Chris Morgan’s side are next in action when they host Derby County on Wednesday November 16 at an as yet unannounced venue.