Martin Smith Column: It’s only a start for Sheffield United… but getting carried away is what fans do best

Blades boss Chris Wilder
Blades boss Chris Wilder
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You can tell they’re on the up... they’re all busy talking themselves down.

Third in the league, feet on the ground, neighbours over their shoulder. Things are looking up for United, and Wednesday are right behind them. A 4-1 win at home against promotion favourites and last season’s play-off finalists Aston Villa for the Blades, three wins on the bounce for the Owls.

Perhaps not time for a celebratory visit to Shaw’s chippy-of-the-year in Killamarsh just yet but tell them to keep the batter crisp for later.

Owls coach Jos Luhukay is warning his players that they ‘must not think we are better than we are’ after making it three in a row with their 2-1 win at Reading. Both coaches are doing their best to manage expectations but getting carried away is what football fans do best. Which is where Sheffield United matchday announcer Gary Sinclair found himself straying just over the club/fan perimeter with his over-enthusiasm at Bramall Lane on Saturday.

He was having such a good time watching the Blades rack up the goals against Villa that he let his excitement get the better of him and announce that ‘unfortunately’ there would only be two minutes stoppage time at the end of a first half that United finished three goals up and in rampant style.

Not a huge gaffe but one that a man like Chris Wilder might see as gloating and you don’t gloat publicly in football - especially not at half-time against one of football’s oldest and most respected clubs. 

Wilder apologised and so did announcer Sinclair. No harm done but, scoreline aside, Villa will be looking forward to the return.

*A postscript to last week’s Justin Wilson story which told how safety changes partly brought about by the death of the 37-year-old Sheffield motor racing driver in a 2015 NASCAR race were responsible for saving the life of Charles Le Clerc in the Belgian Grand Prix. 

FIA race director Charlie Whitingsaid at the weekend that the FIA cannot ‘conclusively confirm’ that the ‘halo’ protector fitted controversially to Formula One cars this season actually saved LeClerc – though tests discovered that the halo took a blow of 5,000 kilograms from Fernando Alonso’s car as it landed on top of Leclerc’s Sauber.

Mr Whiting may not be able to say conclusively but anything that stops 5,000 kilos landing on someone’s head sounds like a lifesaver to me.