I DON’T know about you, but I’ve come around to the fact that we are going to be playing our next season in the third tier of English football.
Maybe it’s because I’ve finally accepted that this is in the long run going to be of benefit. To the fellow Blades fans I’ve spoken to the feeling is very much the same.
As I write this I’ve literally just finished filming with Terry Venables. I thought I’d ask him his thoughts on relegation. His answer was quite funny, ‘well luckily I’ve never been relegated.’ Thanks for that Terry. He did go on to say though that Sheffield United, or any side in our position, as a team need to forget about winning or losing, going a goal behind or even celebrating when going a goal in front. His insight was really interesting.
Terry said that if the players just concentrate on putting everything into the game and don’t let emotions take over, for example when going a goal down, players body language changes and they may think we never come back from being a goal down. Therefore their mentality changes and they’ve already decided the result of the came before the actual full 90 minutes.
The former England manager believes once you’ve stripped the players down to just go out and play with no fear the results speak for themselves.
I felt a lot like this season the Blades played with fear, fear of the ball, fear of results and fear of our position. We’re in League One now, our mind set should be completely different.
When we travel to Swansea for our final game this Saturday, the fear should have disappeared and rather than playing deflated, Sheffield United should play with pride and determination and signal to our new opposition next season that we are a force to be reckoned with.
It’s not just our mentality that should be very different approaching next season but so should our actual team. We all know that there are certain members of the Sheffield United team that shouldn’t be wearing the shirt having not pulled their weight.
The Blades need to have a summer clear out. The great thing is we have young fresh talent to bring into the squad. The Blades don’t have to look far either. I’m sure the board and Micky Adams will be watching the Youth Cup final with great interest not just for the result but for the attitude of the young players, how they cope with the pressure as well as individual skill. Our campaign for automatic promotion out of League One is the perfect way to bring through these players.
Of course there is the worry that now we have moved down a league we won’t be able to hold on to some of our players. This is inevitable especially now that the TV revenue will disappear.
However, like I’ve said, I really don’t think it’s a bad thing for our future, our long term future to concentrate on the development of our youth. Now that we have been relegated a long term view is the only thing that is going to give the Blades sustained success.
One thing I would say is we desperately need to make sure that we have Chris Morgan or a Chris Morgan like figure in the side with experience and influence. Not having our club captain has seriously damaged us.
Things might be a little glum now but this might be the ideal opportunity to sort our club out, rejuvenate and who knows, we could do a Norwich and win back to back promotions.
Back to the mind set chat again but Sheffield United have to start believing that they are a winning team. Bramall Lane has to become a fortress that the rest of the League fear visiting. We might be in League One next season but we are not a lower league side so we should if we regroup in the right way in the summer dominate our new division.
Despite the Blades loss of Championship revenue I hope the board are prepared to do everything they can to get us out of this new division at the first time I’ve asking.