Attacking Dan turns his back on long ball

Football purist: Danny Wilson
Football purist: Danny Wilson
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SHEFFIELD United’s players have been ordered to express themselves in League One next term as Danny Wilson looks to rid the club of its long ball image.

And to reinforce his message, Wilson, whose side open the 2011/12 campaign with a visit to Oldham Athletic on Saturday, pledged not to punish anyone guilty of committing an error providing they are attempting to sprinkle some stardust across Bramall Lane.

“I’ll give someone a b******ing for not trying,” he said. “But I won’t if they try to attempt something and it doesn’t come off.

“I don’t want us to be scared of making a mistake or frightened of doing something wrong.

“That’s not the sort of attitude we want around the place.”

Wilson added: “If people make mistakes then so be it. It happens.”

Wilson is desperate to foster an atmosphere of creativity at United after expressing his desire to transform their reputation for employing ‘route one’ tactics when he took charge in May.

However, having warned his squad they will be one of the division’s most coveted scalps, Wilson will privately ask them to strike a balance between panache and pragmatism at Boundary Park.

Publicly, though, he is adamant that “proper football” can prosper in “a physically intimidating competition”.

“Brighton played some excellent stuff last season,” Wilson said.

“Southampton did too and both of those teams went up.

“There’s a consensus now that you can play rather than kick your way out.

“But for me that’s never changed.

“I’ve always been a believer you can play good attacking football and do well.”