DANNY Wilson has ordered his players to buck up their ideas or risk blowing the chance to bring Championship football back to Bramall Lane.
The Sheffield United manager refused to pull any punches following Saturday’s draw against 10 man Notts County, admitting some members of the South Yorkshire club’s squad “can do more” after watching them lose further ground on League One’s leading teams.
Wilson’s frank assessment marked a departure from his usual policy of defending United to the hilt in the face of criticism with coaching staff hoping the change of tact will provoke the desired response when Coventry City visit Bramall Lane next month.
The former Northern Ireland international, speaking before learning tonight’s fixture at Bury had been postponed, said: “There’s always soul-searching after a bad result. We won’t deny that.
“It’s quite clear there are areas we can do much better in and we’ll be working hard to ensure that situation is rectified.
“There is a lot of football to be played yet but it is getting to the stage where you can really make a difference and stamp your mark.
“Nobody is going to shy away from the areas we need to address. Nobody will be allowed to because that doesn’t serve any purpose.”
Last weekend’s result at Meadow Lane saw United slip to fifth in the table and eight points off the automatic promotion pace.
Nevertheless, they can take some comfort from the fact the state of play towards the top of the division can quickly change.
One month ago, United climbed to first courtesy of an impressive win away at Crawley Town.
Thirty one days and five games later, they now trail Tranmere, Doncaster Rovers, Swindon Town and Brentford but with matches against three of the four teams above them at present yet to come.
Wilson, though, does possess a degree of sympathy for a squad he acknowledged is suffering from a crisis of confidence.
“There aren’t any tricks of fail-safe methods to bring it back,” Wilson said. “All you can do is work hard in games and work hard in training to make sure it comes back.
“You play through it because there’s no magic wand to wave.
“What you do is show the determination to keep on plugging away at it.”
*Did You Know: Bury have had their transfer embargo lifted by the Football League after repaying a loan to the Professional Footballers’ Association in full earlier this month.