DANNY Wilson believes Sheffield United’s forthcoming friendlies against Doncaster Rovers and Blackpool will help accelerate the process of change at Bramall Lane.
The former Northern Ireland international, who took charge when Micky Adams was sacked in May, has spoken openly about his desire to rid his new employers of their abrasive image.
Achieving that tactical transformation while delivering the results required to ensure United can challenge towards the top of the League One table is likely to prove a difficult and demanding task for Wilson and his assistant, Frank Barlow.
But, assessing United’s remaining opponents before August 6’s curtain-raiser at Oldham Athletic, the 51-year-old said: “Both Doncaster and Blackpool like to go about their business in the right manner.
“They like to get the ball down and play so it means we should get plenty of opportunity to express ourselves as well.
“At the same time, though, you know against them that if you surrender possession cheaply then you aren’t going to see the ball again for a while.
“So we know we’re going to have to treat it with respect and that’s going to be a good lesson.”
“When you put together your pre-season fixture schedule it’s important you know what you want to get out of it,” Wilson, whose squad remain unbeaten this summer, added.
“You try to tailor the teams you are going to be coming up against to enable you to do and work on certain things.
“I’m confident we’ve done that.
“They are two clubs that we’ve got a lot of respect for because of the way they approach their football.”
United, who returned home from a week long training camp in Malta on Thursday evening, continue their preparations with when Rovers visit next week.
Wilson, who hopes to transform his new employer’s reputation for embracing a long-ball game, predicted an entertaining encounter against Sean O’Driscoll’s side.
“Sean is a very experienced and proven manager,” said Wilson. “He has a certain style that is associated with Doncaster now and wants his team to play in the right manner.
“Throw in the brand of football I want to play and it should be a very entertaining fixture.”
Tickets for Tuesday’s match - United’s first home appearance this season - and July 31’s meeting with Blackpool are priced £7 adults and £3 concessions.
New signings Ryan Flynn and Chris Porter, who featured during United’s victories over Sliema Wanderers and Hibernians, are again expected to be included.
But Ched Evans is unlikely to be involved following confirmation that Ipswich Town want to acquire his services.
An ankle injury prevented the Wales international from travelling to the Mediterranean.
“Going away will have helped everybody but especially the ones who haven’t been here very long,” Wilson added. “They’ll have got to know everybody – or at least the players we’ve got they didn’t know already -and they’ll feel a much more a part of the club because of that then before.
“They’ll also be aware of what we want them to do now because we’ve been training twice a day recently.
“Playing games will enable them to bed in properly and really feel a part of things a lot quicker.
“Malta also helped.”