SOME Sheffield United fans will owe Danny Wilson a sincere apology when this season ends in the glory of promotion, writes Bob Westerdale.
That’s the view of former Blades midfielder Curtis Woodhouse, who thinks Wilson will succesfully lead his side to automatic elevation.
Wilson was on the receiving end of some barbed criticism from a minority of supporters when he arrived at Bramall Lane, last May.
That ill-feeling was flavoured by the fact Wilson had been manager at Sheffield Wednesday for two years and a player at Hillsborough for three.
Woodhouse said: “When he came it was difficult for him, form was stuttering and fans were sceptical just because of his previous association with Wednesday. But everybody deserves a chance - and none more than Danny.
“He did well and United have found their form and a lot of the credit for that has to go to Danny.
“The fans see that and have got behind him now. But there are some who should hold their hands up and admit they were wrong and should say they are sorry,” said Woodhouse, 32, who played 104 times for United (1997–2001) and also turned out for Rotherham and Sheffield FC.
“I can see a bright future for United, they have some good young players coming through and the club seems to be going in the right direction under Danny.”
Sheffield United Fans’ Alliance chairman Stuart Drew claims that original anti-Wilson protests were fuelled by no more than 20-30 hard core protestors and that the general feeling of United fans now was that Wilson has achieved an astonishing turnaround.
“There was some apathy at first but it is no mean feat that Danny has retained influential players, recruited well and won the fans over.
“He has proved himself by bringing in a style of football that we have not been used to for a good few years” said Drew.
Woodhouse, now a professional boxer, says his mates in the Bramall Lane dressing room are exuding an air of confidence as the season heads towards its climax. United have banged in 88 goals in 43 games so far and he says: “They are the in-form team and they certainly know how to score.”
“They are like a boxer, they know how to play an opponent and have that killer punch,” he said. “If a team that scores as many as they do go behind by a goal or two you know that they are not out of the game until the final whistle.
“And when you keep winning games, like they do, players in the dressing room fully expect to carry on.
“These lads know how to put a good run together and although Saturday (MK Dons away) is a difficult game I reckon they will come away with three points,” said Woodhouse.
The former midfielder says he hopes for the “perfect scenario” of Sheffield Wednesday failing early in the Play-offs - but accepts more likely that “it will all go to the wire” for all the teams competing to get out of League One.