SHEFFIELD United’s campaign to bring Championship football back to Bramall Lane will not be thrown into disarray if they fail to clinch automatic promotion at Exeter City this afternoon, manager Danny Wilson has insisted.
Having spent 10 weeks seemingly destined to secure a top-two finish, United enter their final match of the season third in the table and knowing destiny is no longer in their own hands following last Saturday’s draw with Stevenage.
Despite refusing to concede defeat in the battle for second place, Wilson revealed: “We’ve been planning for the play-offs for about three months. Others might have thought differently but we never viewed going up as a foregone conclusion.
“We try and be professional and that’s why we’ve been making preparations for some time. It’s business that has been conducted quietly but you have to cover every eventuality.
“We’ve booked hotels nearby to those clubs we felt we might face in the play-offs if we do have to take that route and the same goes for training facilities.”
Insisting his words should not be interpreted as a sign United have given up on regaining the runners-up berth they surrendered to Sheffield Wednesday a week ago, Wilson added: “That’s definitely not the mood in the camp.
“That’s something we’d never ever do because this is football and strange things can happen. Especially when the pressure is on.”
United, who know they must better Wednesday’s result against Wycombe Wanderers to guarantee a place in the Championship next term, will give late fitness tests to Richard Cresswell, Neill Collins, Matt Hill and Marcus Williams before deciding the starting 11 which faces Paul Tisdale’s side.
Exeter, like Wycombe, were relegated last weekend but their manager wants to depart the division on a positive note. “I’m disappointed but I have been prepared for what happened,” boss Paul Tisdale, said. “It’s not a surprise. “We have been getting used to the idea for a long time that it might happen.
* Manager Danny Wilson admits he will have a member of staff “monitoring” events at Hillsborough throughout Sheffield United’s League One fixture with Exeter City this afternoon