DANNY Wilson, the Sheffield United manager, has praised supporters for helping keep his team’s promotion campaign on track, writes James Shield.
Wilson, whose side entertain MK Dons this weekend, insisted the backing United enjoyed against Oldham Athletic three days ago had been a major factor behind their victory at Boundary Park.
“The fans were immense,” Wilson said. “They really were and had an important part to play in what happened.
“I’m not just saying that. The fact they kept behind the lads throughout, even when the scores were still level, really helped them to stick to what they were doing and we got our reward.
“Getting that sort of encouragement pushed them on. Kept them plugging away and then powered them forward.”
Wilson’s comments came at the end of a week which saw United’s relationship with a section of their followers come under the microscope for completely different reasons.
Four days before goals from Michael Doyle and Dave Kitson saw the visitors remain second in the League One table, United had been booed-off the pitch at both half and full-time of their goalless draw with Leyton Orient despite entering that match on top of the rankings and having won four straight games.
Wilson, who celebrated his 100th competitive fixture in charge of the South Yorkshire club at Oldham, hopes United will extend their unbeaten sequence to seven when Dons travel north on Saturday.
Karl Robinson’s team are 13th after failing to record a league victory since New Year’s Day. They host leaders Doncaster Rovers at stadium:mk tonight without Alan Smith but the former Leeds and Newcastle midfielder’s suspension expires in time for the meeting with United.
Fourth placed Brentford are also in action this evening and would move level on points with Wilson’s charges if they win at Stevenage.
Tom Adeyemi, who scored Brentford’s winning goal against Scunthorpe last weekend, admitted yesterday that games at Griffin Park are growing increasingly tortuous as the race for Championship football enters its final phase.
“Teams are coming here, sitting in, with ten men behind the ball and asking us to break them down,” he said.
“Sometimes it is easier if a team comes out and has a go at you. There is then space to counter.
“We have to keep the ball and drag the other team around to make that space.”
United hope injured forwards Jonathan Forte and Jamie Murphy will both be declared fit to face MK Dons after making progress in their battles against injury.
“We’ll see how they get on but, fingers crossed, they should be okay,” Wilson said.
“The thinking is that, unless anything happens, that’s when they should come back into contention.
“Both of the lads are coming on okay and it goes without saying that we want them back as soon as possible because the more options we have the better.
“But those players who have come in have also done well. Those are the (selection) problems you want though.
“We’ll have a better idea of how they are shortly.”