Sheffield United: ‘Give the gaffer credit.’

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MATT Hill says Sheffield United’s players owe manager Danny Wilson a debt of gratitude for helping them come through the most troubled period of their season, writes James Shield.

United entertain Colchester today fifth in the table and hoping to complete a hat-trick of League One victories following successes over Bury and Shrewsbury Town.

Hill, who recently returned to action following a serious facial injury, said: “The lads have done really well lately but a lot of credit has got to go to the gaffer too. He’s not someone who blows his own trumpet so we’ll mention the good work he’s done for him.

“He’s been telling us what to do, how to approach the situation, and the boys have responded to it. We’re just going out there now, relaxing and looking to play our football.

“There’s always pressure at a club like this and you accept that. It comes with the territory and the job.

“But the gaffer doesn’t heap even more of it on the players. He doesn’t harp on about it to us and that really does help.

“So he deserves a lot of recognition for that. It’s not his style.”

Having won their last two outings on the road, the next task on United’s agenda is improving a disappointing sequence of results at Bramall Lane where Hartlepool, Yeovil Town and Coventry City have all triumphed since Boxing Day’s defeat of Scunthorpe.

Colchester, one place and two points above the relegation zone, could include new signing Bradley Garmston in their starting eleven.

Wilson expects to have Dominic Poleon at his disposal with the paperwork processing the youngster’s emergency loan from Leeds scheduled to be completed later this morning.

Despite their perilous predicament towards the foot of the rankings, Colchester travelled north yesterday having won three of their last four outings.

“They’ve had some good results lately and they’ll want another one to give themselves some more breathing space,” Wilson said. “But, with all due respect to Colchester, this is solely about us.

“That’s the mentality I want us to have because we’ve got enough ability within the squad.”

Joe Dunne, the Colchester manager, added: “The first goal has been key in most of the games we have played recently. When we’ve scored the goal, you see confidence exude from my players.”

Having been criticised by supporters and commentators alike following their recent defeat by City, a source close to Wilson’s squad revealed they decided to ignore the detractors and “bring things in-house” during a series of private meetings behind the scenes.

That siege mentality has been the inspiration behind impressive displays at Greenhous Meadow and Gigg Lane although Hill warned Colchester will pose another tough test.

“We know how teams come here and raise their game,” he said. “And whenever we go away we always read it in the programme how it’s their biggest test.

“So what we have to do is better that work ethic because then the ability here will shine through.”

*Twitter: JamesShield1