IF styles make fights then Sheffield United supporters should brace themselves for some absorbing contests between now and the end of this season’s League One promotion slugfest.
Danny Wilson’s side have won plaudits for their determination to float like butterflies through a division renowned for being stuffed with street brawlers.
But, the South Yorkshire club’s manager insisted last night, they can snarl like ferocious boxer dogs too.
Explaining his team selection for Saturday’s visit to Hartlepool, which saw the on-loan Matt Hill preferred at full-back to January signing Marcus Williams, Wilson said: “That’s why we brought Matt in; because we knew the type of threat we’d be facing.
“Marcus Williams is a cracking player who gives us another quality option and has done ever so well of late too.
“But we just thought that Matt’s heading prowess would be important and I think that proved to be the case.
“They (Hartlepool) have got
some very dangerous lads up there but, barring one or two things that you expect throughout the course of a game, I don’t think they really got a sniff.”
“Matt is very good in the air,” Wilson added.
“People under-estimate him in that regard.
“He’s got a terrific leap and very good aerial ability.
“I thought he was outstanding at Hartlepool.”
maining six games of the season will reveal whether or not Wilson’s confidence is misplaced.
United entertain Bournemouth this weekend second in the table and two points ahead of third-placed Sheffield Wednesday.
Charlton Athletic, six points clear at the top of the rankings, seem destined to be fast-tracked back into the Championship following a three-year absence.
Town, who together with Wednesday appear best placed to prevent United from following them, play their game in hand at Leyton Orient tonight.
Although Wilson had previously vowed not to change his team’s expansive style, concerns about the condition of Victoria Park’s playing surface prompted a change of heart.
Wilson, speaking after Ched Evans’ 31st goal of the season had settled a hard-fought contest in the North-East, indicated United could look to turn on the style against the visitors from Dorset this weekend.
“The pitch at Bramall Lane is getting better and that could well suit us,” he said.