SHEFFIELD United will refuse to sacrifice progress in the cup competitions to enhance their prospects of League One success, manager Danny Wilson has insisted, despite concerns about the pressure they place on his squad.
Wilson, whose determination to reach the latter stages of the knockout tournaments contrasted sharply with some of his divisional rivals last season, had faced calls to focus purely on promotion following May’s play-off final defeat at Wembley.
But, speaking ahead of August’s Capital One Cup first-round fixture against Burton Albion, he insisted United can not afford to pick and choose their games next term.
“Every game that we can get is important,” Wilson told The Star.
“The Premier League has just signed a huge television deal but, to be honest, it makes little difference to anyone outside of the top- light because it never really trickles down much.
“We go into every game wanting to win, irrespective of what is at stake, and every single penny we can earn is important.”
With Football League members voting to adopt UEFA’s Financial Fair Play framework – including the Salary Cost Management Protocol (SCMP) system – United have a vested interest in trying to secure a plum tie against one of the country’s leading clubs.
The SCMP limits spending on player wages to a proportion of total turnover.
Defending his decision to field strong teams in the cups last year, Wilson admitted “going to somewhere like Chelsea or Old Trafford” could “be the difference for us when it comes to bringing in a new player”.
Nevertheless, with Albion’s visit taking place a week before United’s League One curtain-raiser against Shrewsbury Town, United’s coaching staff could be tempted to include the most promising graduates of the club’s Shirecliffe youth academy in the team which entertains Gary Rowett’s side.