IT’S the little things that often tell you the most about a person.
In the case of Danny Wilson clutching a mug of tea during his press conference this week, the words written across it were confirming rather than revealing of his character.
‘Keep calm and carry on’ it said. And never a truer word has been written about Wilson and the way he is shaping Sheffield United’s season as it reaches the halfway point over the festive period.
Listen to Wilson or read his comments in isolation with the backdrop of a result or a performance to judge them by and you’d be hard-pressed to work out whether he was up or down.
And that’s just the way he likes it - even after a six-match winning run.
He said: “I’m always like I’ve been the last six games. That’s just the way I am.
“On match days possibly I’m a bit less animated. I suppose. but I’ve enjoyed every minute of it from when I came in to now.
“There’s no reason why that should change in my view. When you get to the business end of the season it’ll get quite exciting. You might see me jumping up and down every now and then - but I wouldn’t bank on it.”
Time will tell how much leaping Wilson will do on knees that creak due to a lifetime spent in the game when April and May arrives.
But for now, with the visit of Notts County to Bramall Lane on Tuesday presenting the chance of making it seven wins in a row, he wants his players to follow his lead and remain calm.
He said: “You can’t satisfy everybody’s ambition and needs every week. But from where we are, we try and strike an equilibrium from the management side of it, so hopefully it gets to the players.
“They have to be the same as well. They can’t be up and down like a fiddler’s elbow every week.
“They have to have some sort of calmness about how they play and be able to control themselves when they play. And not get carried away.
“If you can do that, there’s a good chance you’ll stretch to 46 games a season if you have that type of outlook on it. But it’s not easy.”
United are more than just in the promotion mix. A tilt at going up automatically isn’t just a woolly aspiration but a very real goal.
Experience is one of the main reasons Wilson sits behind the manager’s desk at Bramall Lane and, judging from his choice of drinking vessel, he’s more than happy to use it.
Teams and ref
United (possible): Simonsen, Lowton, Collins, Maguire, Jean-Francois, Doyle, Flynn, McDonald, Quinn, Cresswell, Evans (4-4-2).
Notts County (possible): Nelson, Kelly, Pearce or Edwards, Sodje, Sheehan, Judge, Bishop, Mahon, J Hughes, Hawley, L Hughes (4-4-2).
Jonathan Moss (West Yorkshire): This will be Moss’s first match in League One this season after officiating in the other three divisions. In 15 games he has dished out 52 yellows and six red cards.
One to watch
Hughes is the name at Notts County if you want headlines, but the man who has been grabbing most for the right reasons is midfield man Jeff rather than striker Lee. Signed in the summer from Bristol Rovers, Jeff Hughes is the club’s leading scorer with nine goals but missed an injury-time penalty last week against Leyton Orient.
United have had the better of this rivalry over the years with 41 victories compared to their opponents 22 in 73 matches. The last league meetings between the two was in the 1994/95 season when the Magpies beat the Blades home and away.