SHEFFIELD United manager Danny Wilson has pledged to chase glory on four fronts next season after rubbishing claims that progress in knockout competition could have a detrimental effect upon the club’s bid to gain promotion from League One.
United, who were relegated from the Championship last season, discovered yesterday they will travel to Oldham Athletic on the opening weekend of the 2011/12 campaign before hosting Brentford on August 13.
With a Carling Cup tie at Hartlepool sandwiched in between those two fixtures and the prospect of a first ever appearance in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy to come, United face an unenviable test of their resources over the next 11 months.
But, in a marked departure from the policy employed by many of his predecessors, Wilson told The Star that his team will attempt to “do as well as we can” in every tournament they enter.
“I don’t like losing,” he said. “And I don’t like players who are happy losing either. They should be wanting and trying to win every single match they take part in, be it in the league or even a five-a-side in training.
“I don’t subscribe to the theory that you should focus entirely on the league.
“I can’t think of a bad game to win or a good one to lose and I challenge anyone else to.
“We want to get into a winning habit.
“And the only way you can do that is by winning games obviously.”
United, who play the first of their eagerly anticipated contests with Sheffield Wednesday on October 15 before February’s return at Hillsborough, must also enter the FA Cup at the first-round stage after slipping into the third tier of English football for the first time in over two decades.
Dismissing suggestions that he could sacrifice a place in the JPT, Wilson added: “The rules and regulations say that you have to field a team containing more than half of what are regarded as your better players.
“So why would you want to have to do that, to put that kind of effort into something, and then just give up?
“That doesn’t make any sense to me.”
Meanwhile, United have reacted with incredulity to reports that Carlisle “hijacked” their move for Swindon Town’s Jon-Paul McGovern.
Wilson dismissed suggestions he is poised to capture the Scottish winger at a media briefing on Thursday, saying: “People are putting two and two together and coming up with odd numbers.”
With McGovern last night on the verge of completing a move to Brunton Park, a United source said: “Surely it’s impossible to hijack something that doesn’t exist.”