SHEFFIELD United manager Danny Wilson has refused to blame his team’s problems in front of goal on inexperience.
Instead Wilson, whose side have failed to win their last two games despite dominating both Colchester and Coventry, insists carelessness is the reason why last season’s play-off finalists are not celebrating a perfect start to the new campaign.
Youngsters Nick Blackman and John Cofie, aged 22 and 19 respectively, have spearheaded United’s attack since arriving at Bramall Lane earlier this summer but Wilson said: “It’s not down to youth. It’s down to slackness. As simple as that.
“What’s happened lately has been a real awakener for some our players.
“I’m not frustrated by it. I’m annoyed.
“We created a host of opportunities (against Colchester) and that game should have been put to bed.”
Thirty-one-year-old Matt Hill was the oldest member of United’s starting eleven at the Weston Homes Community Stadium where Wilson’s substitutes bench boasted an average of just over 21.
Cofie, signed on loan from Manchester United, opened the visitors account in spectacular fashion at Colchester. But he was also guilty of missing the target from point blank range as United, despite enjoying 54 per cent of the possession, were ultimately forced to settle for a point when Clinton Morrison levelled.
The result left Wilson’s charges eighth in the League One table having won one and drawn two of their opening three fixtures.
“John has still got a lot to learn in terms of his all-round play,” Wilson continued. “But he scored a terrific goal and is really keen to develop.
“We’ve got to do better, a lot better, as a team though.
“Listen, I’m not bothered about winning five, six, seven or eight nil.
“The fact is, in that game, one nil should have been good enough.
“We went to sleep and conceded a cheap goal.
“We dominated from start to finish and we’ve got to be nasty. Much nastier.”
Wilson, speaking during last month’s warm weather training camp in Malta, called upon United to develop a “ruthless streak” after identifying a failure to “kill off” opponents as a major factor behind their failure to secure automatic promotion two months earlier.
Ensuring better defending from set-piece situations was another priority so, four days after being held 1-1 by Coventry City, the former Northern Ireland international will have been disappointed to see Morrison pounce following an Anthony Wordsworth corner.
“We’ve not been clinical enough,” Wilson said. “And we’ve not converted enough of what came our way.
“We created more than enough and I’ve let them know it as well. Don’t worry about that.
“But the way to put it right is to go out there and win your next game. It’s as simple as that.”
United return to action when they host AFC Bournemouth, who drew 1-1 with Preston North End last weekend, on Saturday. (Kick-off 3pm).