Will Sheffield United have to play much better than currently to win through the play-offs? Yes. Can they play much better? Yes. In fact, it’s a resounding yes to both questions based on big game evidence, albeit often in the cups. Therein lies the puzzle and the challenge facing Nigel Clough and his players who, for all the sound bites, will know full well that more is expected.
And, looking at the substitutes for Saturday’s draw with Bradford, I wonder if the impact solution lies as much there as in the starting XI. Che Adams produced a late burst from the bench that stirred echoes of his sensational salvo against Tottenham. Matty Done is nursing an injury but 21 goals this season suggests he can have a big say from here. Marc McNulty has 12.
There are goals on that bench that need transferring to the side, whether from the start (though it looks unlikely Clough will depart from 4-5-1) or at key strategic times. Admittedly, defence has been a concern lately. But can they do it? Yes, they can!