SHEFFIELD United manager Danny Wilson is under no illusions of the threat Colchester United will pose in their own backyard.
Fresh from capturing Will Hoskins on loan from Brighton and Hove Albion until the end of the season, Wilson wants a three point haul at the Essex club this weekend to keep the pressure on their top two rivals.
He is acutely aware the U’s, who are in 13th position in League One, will be looking to avenge their comprehensive 3-0 defeat at Bramall Lane in mid-September and told his players not to underestimate the quality they possess in their ranks.
“We will need to be at our very best,” admitted Wilson. “Teams in this division are ready to trip you up. It’s very tight towards the top of the table.
“One game, whatever the result, won’t decide a season. But we want to keep the pressure on those around us as much as possible.
“We have done well so far and we want to maintain that. But I know the lads here are professional. They’ll give everything.”
Against all odds, United managed to hang on to their top performers during the January transfer window despite needing to reduce the size of their wage bill.
Indeed, it was a case of one in and one out on transfer deadline day, with Hoskins coming in from the Seagulls on a temporary basis to beef up their striking options while Erik Tonne was farmed out on loan to York City to further his footballing education.
Wilson has spoken of his delight at recruiting former Rotherham United forward Hoskins, who represented England at Under-18, 19 and 20 level, saying: “Will is a real team player, he has great movement and has scored a lot of goals at this level.
“He is hungry for goals and we all look forward to him scoring for us in what will be an important run in.”
Hoskins may be given his debut at Colchester on Saturday. He could get the nod to partner top-scorer Ched Evans in attack, meaning Richard Cresswell could drop to the bench. James Beattie is still suspended.