SHEFFIELD United manager Danny Wilson issued an impassioned call to arms ahead of this weekend’s crucial League One encounter with Stevenage after watching MK Dons loosen his team’s grip on automatic promotion.
United remained second in the table with two matches left to play despite suffering their first defeat in the competition since March 6 at stadium:mk.
But with third-placed Sheffield Wednesday now only a point behind in the race for a top two finish, Wilson, who insisted United can cope without jailed striker Ched Evans, urged supporters to create a wall of noise during the televised meeting with Gary Smith’s side.
“When Bramall Lane is rocking it’s a very difficult place to play for the opposition,” Wilson said. “Three points are paramount for us (against Stevenage) and I know the crowd will be right behind us.
“We had a terrific following here and it would have been lovely to have given them the result they wanted. They’ll go home disappointed but not too downhearted because they know, like us, that we’re still in a great position.”
With Evans starting a five year prison term for rape on the eve of Saturday’s game and fellow striker Richard Cresswell nursing a shoulder problem, Chris Porter and Will Hoskins were charged with spearheading United’s attack in Buckinghamshire.
James Beattie and Michael O’Halloran both appeared as second-half substitutes but the visitors were unable to cancel-out Alan Smith’s early effort as MK Dons confirmed their play-off qualification.
Wilson, who said he will not discuss Evans’ situation in detail until after the outcome of any appeal against the conviction is known, said: “We’ve got lots of very good players here.
“Cressy was nowhere near for this one at MK but we’ll see what he’s like for Stevenage. Will has got a little bit of a hernia problem so we’ve had to look after him because of that lately. Chris Porter did well and there’s Michael O’Halloran too. We’ve got lots of good options.”