A BLACK and white expose of Sheffield United’s strengths and weaknesses?
Or 14 shades of grey?
Danny Wilson made no attempt to disguise his disdain at certain aspects of Saturday’s performance against Burton Albion in the Capital One Cup.
But, as the South Yorkshire club contemplate where they went wrong against a team which finished 38 places below them on the football pyramid last season, its manager also chose to issue a staunch defence of his side’s promotion credentials this term.
“I wasn’t happy but it won’t affect what we do from now on,” Wilson said. “It’s not going to cast a shadow over the whole campaign. There are things we’ll have to look at and improve but it doesn’t change the fact we’ve got some real quality here.”
Wilson initially insisted there were no positives United could take from their defeat by Albion into this weekend’s League One opener with Shrewsbury Town.
A reminder that the former Northern Ireland international has lost none of the competitive streak which enabled him to lift the trophy twice as a player since pursuing a career in the dug-out.
However, once Wilson had readjusted the mask coaches don when facing the media, he warned the visitors from Greenhous Meadow that United will be a more formidable proposition in four days time.
His decision to claim that Manchester United loanee John Cofie’s anticipated return from injury is set to equip United with “blistering pace” suggests the on-loan striker is set to be paired with Nick Blackman in a youthful but talented attack.
Teenager Callum McFadzean, although by no means the finished article yet, will benefit from making his debut in the first round tie.
United’s display against Albion was desperately disappointing. But not x-rated.
“We didn’t create enough chances,” Wilson continued. “That was a concern but it’s not a worry.”
Nevertheless, United have much to work on during training ahead of Shrewsbury’s arrival.
A defence which had conceded an average of only 1.1 goals per game in its previous 58 outings must shoulder its share of responsibility for at least one of the two efforts Albion scored en route to the second round draw while there was a distinct lack of urgency in midfield.
“Certain aspects, we want to tighten up,” Wilson said. “And that will happen.”