Nigel Adkins admits Sheffield United must develop a ruthless streak if they want to mount a late charge for the League One play-off places.
United travel to top-six rivals Southend tomorrow for a game televised live on Sky Sports and slipped to 12th in the table after Scunthorpe beat Swindon 6-0 yesterday afternoon.
But their first-half showing in Friday’s nervy 3-2 home win over troubled Crewe Alexandra showed a glimpse of what Adkins’ side are capable of, and the United manager admitted: “I said in the build-up, all we can do is win the next game.
“We’ve done that against Crewe.
“I was pleased with the first half, but we got pegged back and then showed character to respond and grab a late winner.
“We need wins now to make the play-offs, but the system we play - with three centre-halves and wing-backs pushing on - is very offensive.
“We’ve seen over the last few games that it helps us create a lot of chances, and now we have to be ruthless with those chances as we look to beat teams and make up ground on the play-offs.”
Paul Coutts, who was withdrawn against Crewe, should be fit for the trip to Roots Hall, Adkins added.
United went 2-0 up against Alex thanks to Che Adams and Ryan Flynn goals, before David Fox and Harry Davis drew the visitors level. Billy Sharp saved the day for United late on, heading home Louis Reed’s inch-perfect cross.
“I think it was a deserved win,” Jay McEveley, United’s skipper, said.
“I was pleased with the first half, but not so much the second.
“At this stage of the season, it’s all about the three points and we worked hard to get them.
“We never gave up, which was pleasing.”