Chris Wilder joked it was a case of “Good Cop, Bad Cop” during training this week as, together with his assistant Alan Knill, Sheffield United’s coaching staff responded to last weekend’s unexpected defeat at Walsall.
But the two men hope to be singing from the same hymn sheet at a quarter-to-five this evening following, what the League One leaders’ manager admitted, is likely to be a tough encounter against Gillingham.
“Any team, even if they had won their last three games 5-0, would come to Bramall Lane fired up,” Wilder said. “So that’s what we are preparing for now, a really difficult match.
“I have not booted my team (after Walsall). People might have said I went in and smashed everything about them, but we looked through the game sensibly and calmly to see what went wrong.
“It was straight forward; we haven’t punished them, they punished us. We have not defended well, they defended better. We have looked at what we need to work on, to try and organise ourselves a bit better.
“We have dominated a lot of games, but there will be times when opposition sides have little periods on us and it’s how we cope with it.”
United, who enter the meeting with Adrian Pennock’s side a point ahead of second-placed Scunthorpe, have coped pretty well with adversity so far. Walsall are the only team to beat them in the league since August and, following November’s set-back at Bramall Lane, Wilder’s team went on a six match winning streak.
“It’s not just a case of slaughtering them, he said. “We are top of the division and they have done fantastically well. It (Walsall) was the first defeat away from home in 11 games, after six victories on the bounce.
“If we lost bang, bang, bang, we might have to take a different approach. You just have to recognise where we are at.
“Sometimes you have to take things on the chin but not be happy about it. I’m not saying it’s the best weekend I’ve had, but we hopefully we can get back on track now.”