LECSINEL Jean-Francois has told his teammates to put their egos to one side as Sheffield United look to consolidate their place among the League One front-runners.
And, in an effort to show he practises what he preaches, the Haiti international revealed how he pools knowledge and ideas with fellow defender Marcus Williams despite seeing the full-back’s return to Bramall Lane jeopardise his first-team ambitions.
“Marcus and I work together a lot in training,” Jean-Francois said. “And we talk a lot off the pitch too because we want to help each other.
“Yes, we are both going for the same spot in the team.
“But the manager knows that we aren’t going to fall out because of this and hopefully that helps him because he knows we both want to same thing.
“I want to start all the games. Exactly the same as him (Williams).
“But you also have to appreciate that doing so might not be possible for many different reasons so, when somebody comes in, they must be ready because the most important thing is the club as a whole.”
Wilson, who has steered United to second in the table, will welcome Jean-Francois’ selfless approach as he looks to build upon Tuesday evening’s emphatic victory over Yeovil Town at Bury tomorrow.
Goals from Richard Cresswell, Michael Doyle and a Lee Williamson brace saw United leapfrog neighbours Sheffield Wednesday and move to within four points of leaders Charlton Athletic although both clubs enjoy a game in hand over Wilson’s men.
However, despite travelling to Gigg Lane having won 10 of their last 11 games, United would be foolish to under-estimate the size of the task they face in Greater Manchester tomorrow.
Bury, beaten 4-0 at Bramall Lane in September, are enjoying a purple patch of their own having climbed to 10th following recent triumphs against the likes of Scunthorpe and Preston.
“Everyone must be taken seriously in this division,” Jean-Francois, a summer signing from Swindon, acknowledged. “Especially when you are regarded as one of the bigger names because everyone wants to beat you.
“I know how people playing against us will think because I’ve been in the same position myself so I know how fired-up they will be, how hard they will work, how hard they will try.”
Wilson, a manager not usually given to dishing out individual praise, singled out Jean-Francois for commendation following his contribution to United’s success over the visitors from Huish Park.
“Lecs defended well,” Wilson said. “As did the rest of the lads at the back.”
Wilson’s words during a post-match press conference which also heard Gary Johnson, his opposite number, describe United as “A Championship side in the making,” suggest Jean-Francois is an almost certain starter at Bury.
But, aware that points not platitudes are the most precious commodity in this season’s race for promotion, Wilson also reserved the right to “make changes” should the situation demand.
“I share a room with Marcus when we go away as a team,” Jean-Francois said. “We’re happy to tell each other things we think will be of help and that surely can only be good.”
One to watch
Andy Bishop has scored nine goals in league competition for Bury this term. However, having claimed six in as many games during a devastating spell last year, the former York, Yeovil and Rochdale striker boasts just one since November.