SHEFFIELD UNITED: The great unknown

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DANNY Wilson has admitted it is impossible to predict whether Sheffield United’s disappointing end to last season will cast a shadow over their next League One campaign.

United, who begin their programme of summer friendlies against Ilkeston tonight, were beaten by Yorkshire rivals Huddersfield Town in May’s play-off final at Wembley.

Wilson, who took charge following the club’s relegation from the Championship 14 months ago, revealed he has been “plagued” by questions about his squad’s state of mind since that penalty shoot-out defeat in the capital.

But the United manager said: “We might only get the answer to that when the games start.

“I’ve been asked the same thing time and time again lately and I was asked the same thing time and time again when I first came in.

“But it’s only when the matches actually get under way that you know for sure.”

United accumulated 90 points and scored 92 goals during Wilson’s debut season at the helm but saw their bid to secure an automatic promotion place hijacked by off-the-pitch events.

“What I do know is that I don’t want there to be a hangover,” he added.

“The lads seem to be in good spirits and they look exactly the same as this time last year.

“They certainly weren’t affected then were they?

“They’re good professionals with good attitudes so I know they’ll be giving their all. They’ve been working hard and have been very focused.”

Wilson will receive his first piece of tangible evidence about the mood in United’s dressing room at the New Manor Ground this evening. (kick-off 7.45pm).

“Ilkeston have a very good set-up and should provide us with a good test,” he said.

“We’re pleased to be going there and are looking forward to the match.”