LOYAL Sheffield United fans said today Danny Wilson has been made a scapegoat following his dismissal as manager of the team.
Wilson was sacked after Tuesday’s disappointing defeat against Crawley, which made it four home games without a win for the Blades - but fans say, even so, they didn’t see it coming.
“I was shocked to hear the news. I think most of us were,” said Gary Hall, aged 49, who has been a fan of the Blades for over 40 years.
“I liked Danny Wilson and his philosophies on football and I think he did a great job for us last year.
This year hasn’t been so great, but I think when things don’t go to plan, everybody starts looking for a scapegoat.”
Friend and fellow fan John Johnson, 63, agreed. “Wilson brought a breath of fresh air to the club and I’ve really enjoyed his football,” he said.
“He wasn’t bringing in the points just recently but I was still amazed by the news of his sacking - but that’s football.”
Loyal fans Roy and Lesley Firth have racked up over 110 years of Blades support between them.
“Once a Blade, always a Blade and that’s why we stick with them through thick and thin,” said Lesley, 67.
“But that’s not to say we always agree with what they do and I think we’re both shocked and saddened to say goodbye to Wilson.”
Roy, 69, agreed. “I just can’t believe they’ve done it five games before the end of the season - he didn’t deserve that.”
But not everybody was surprised by the announcement yesterday.
Thomas Howarth, 29, told The Star he thinks the time was right for Wilson to go.
“The team’s performance in recent weeks has been terrible. There was no sign of passion or commitment on Tuesday night,” he said.
“I think we need a manager with real passion for the team and I don’t believe Wilson’s heart was really in it, especially at the end.”
Thomas is excited to see what stand-in manager Chris Morgan can produce in the last few games of the season.
It’s already been suggested that Barnsley-born Morgan - who made 281 appearances for United before retiring due to injury - could well be offered the job permanently if he can engineer a successful finish to the season.
Thomas said: “Chris Morgan is a legend around here and we’ll all be rooting for him on Saturday.”
But not everybody shares his enthusiasm
Lesley said: “I always liked him as a player, but I’m not sure he has the experience to pull this off.
“Having said that, he has a lot of passion for the club so if he can make that rub off, that’ll be great.”
Roy added: “We’ll reserve judgement until we see how he does on Saturday.
“If we get promoted he’ll be hailed a hero and, if we don’t, they’ll be asking why Wilson was sacked - that’s a lot of pressure.”
And everyone seems to agree the Blades should be looking to the future, not the past.
“I think Neil Warnock did a great job for us, but that was then and this is now,” said Roy.
“You shouldn’t go backwards, so we’ll give Morgan our support and keep our fingers crossed.”