DANNY Wilson is, in the main, a calm, unflappable individual.
The Sheffield United manager is not a person who panics at the first sign of trouble.
But given the team have registered just one victory in their last five outings and fallen to fourth in the League One standings, Wilson could have done without one of his senior players missing the Blades second round FA Cup tie with Port Vale this Saturday through suspension.
With Kevin McDonald set to serve a one-match ban after chalking up five bookings, the United boss will have to alter the make up of his midfield.
David McAllister is in the frame to replace McDonald and partner Michael Doyle in the middle of the park. The young Irishman, who enjoyed a productive loan spell at Shrewsbury Town last season, has not started since the 1-0 victory against Walsall over a month ago. He has featured twice as a substitute at MK Dons and in the 3-3 thriller with Crewe Alexandra but is waiting patiently for his opportunity to stake his claim for a regular first-team spot.
McAllister is likely to get the nod but it is conceivable Wilson could turn to one of the club’s academy starlets to fill the void.
United reached the fourth round of Britain’s oldest cup competition last term where they were knocked out by Birmingham City. After hosting League Two high fliers Vale, United then face back-to-back away trips to Coventry City - in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy - and Carlisle United.
Promotion is United’s top priority but Matt Hill, the club’s left-back, sees no reason why they can’t push for honours on all fronts.
“The cups are a good distraction,” he said. “We can still continue to work on a few things that we are wanting to improve on as a team.
“I’m sure a lot of the lads will be thinking ‘each and everyone of us has got a chance to play in one of the cup games’. We have all trained hard to prove to the gaffer why we should be in the side. Their are places up for grabs but it is up to the gaffer.
“Port Vale is an extra game but in terms of finance, if you get through it, which will be difficult because they are riding high in their league, you never know who you are going to pull out of the hat.
“It could be Manchester United or Arsenal and the chairman will be rubbing his hands financially. That is what the cup is all about for clubs in the lower half of the leagues. The cup can also be a good day-out for the fans.”