The route to success is to win away from home

Back playing: James Beattie lifted the crowd against Hartlepool
Back playing: James Beattie lifted the crowd against Hartlepool
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Ok, so Carlisle slightly cocked things up for Sheffield United after such a positive run but still eight wins in nine in all competitions isn’t something to be sniffed at.

However we are in League One and I certainly don’t want to leave the Blades’ fate to the lottery of the play-offs.

Can we make it 10 out of 11 next Tuesday and regain second position?

Salisbury City in the FA Cup and Yeovil Town our opposition in the League, both at home, no disrespect to either sides but of course United can.

It is though so ridiculously close for automatic promotion and a playoff place that it’s almost guaranteed to go down to the wire.

The worry of any Blade is this: United have two more away games (12) to play than the two clubs currently in the top two Charlton and Sheffield Wednesday.

To fuel the original worry, four of those fixtures, as I mentioned last week, are in the current top six.

It will be a telling month for both Sheffield teams, Charlton travelling to Hillsborough on January 14 and United travelling to the Valley on 21 of the same month. If one side can manage to beat the league leaders surely then that is a massive step to having a least one foot in the Championship.

My final worry is Sheffield United have a tendency to make life difficult for themselves. The hard route seems to be the Blades’ way. I guess I’m not the only football fan to have said that about their team.

Enough of the worries; it was so nice to be at Bramall Lane on New Year’s Eve. A League One side with two consecutive 20,000-plus home crowds. I took two out of my three younger brothers, their first visit to Bramall Lane mind you, they were brought up in Leeds, and aren’t interested in the beautiful game in the slightest. I have successfully, I think, converted them to football and hopefully led them to back the Blades.

Hartlepool’s Ritchie Humphreys was the main subject of my brothers’ amusement in the first half though, comments of looking like a Sunday league player and something along the lines of eating too many Christmas puds. I’m sure you get my drift.

Ironically my brothers had picked on a former Sheffield Wednesday player.

Soup and burgers at half time, after an impressive first half not just the result but the way United played their football. A second half that my brothers labelled a little bit boring until James Beattie graced the pitch to give the Blades a timely lift to finish off a precious three points.

The job was done early on and that is the way you win games, no fancy stuff, just hold on to the work that led to the substantial lead. To be honest I thought we should have scored at least six.

A perfect way to see in the New Year especially when asking about transfers I was told that there will be some movement coming in, according to Danny Wilson.

Let’s hope there won’t be any key personnel going in the other direction and we hold on to the bulk of our squad and strengthen at the same time.