SHEFFIELD United manager Danny Wilson has paid tribute to the South Yorkshire club’s support after describing them as an integral part of its effort to make an immediate return to the Championship
Despite the protests which surrounded his appointment following United’s relegation last season, the former Northern Ireland international has silenced the critics by winning six and drawing two of his first nine League One matches at the helm.
And, as Bramall Lane supporters warm to his methods, Wilson repaid the compliment ahead of this weekend’s visit to Wycombe Wanderers.
Reflecting on Saturday’s victory over Colchester, he said: “One of the things that really pleased me was seeing all of the lads who came off – Stephen Quinn, Neill Collins and Ched Evans – get standing ovations.
“They showed commitment and they got those receptions because the crowd see how much they are putting in.
“But it was great that they showed that appreciation and that is only going to spur the lads on even more.
“Of course it makes a difference and it was really, really good to see.”
United’s flying start has inevitably raised hopes that their stay in the third tier of English football will be mercifully brief.
However, with games against Preston North End, Sheffield Wednesday, MK Dons and leaders Charlton Athletic looming large on the horizon, next month’s League One table could be especially revealing.
Second-placed United host Chris Powell’s side - who travel to stadiummk in seven days time – on October 1.
“We’re making good progress,” said Wilson. “But there’s still plenty more to do.”
Wanderers are 22nd following their 2-0 defeat by Tranmere Rovers.
Gary Waddock, Wilson’s opposite number, felt the wrath of the travelling support at Prenton Park with chants of “You don’t know what you’re doing” emanating from the away end when he made a double substitution.
“I take responsibility for the team, for everything that we do,” he said.
“They have got every right to voice their opinion and anger.
“If they direct it at me then that’s great because it keeps it away from the players.”
Rovers manager Les Parry insisted Tranmere had produced one of their worst displays of the campaign despite securing all three points.
Wanderers have now gone five matches without a win in League One although they did reach the next stage of the JP Trophy courtesy of a 3-1 success over Bristol Rovers earlier this month.
Waddock acknowledged: “I think it’s everything; confidence, belief and I’m sure there’s doubt.
“Especially when you are on a run like we are at the minute.
“Only hard work will be able to turn that around.
“The players are very disappointed and low.
“We’ve just got to keep believing that we can turn it around and get ourselves back on track very soon.”
Meanwhile, United academy were beaten 2-0 by Blackburn Rovers at rain-soaked Brockhall on Saturday morning.
Curtis Haley and Antonie Boland scored second-half goals for the Premier League club following a keenly contested opening period.