Vocal backing of the Lane faithful can keep Blades in with a shout of safety, says Harry

Sheffield United players and fans.
Sheffield United players and fans.
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DAVE Bassett, Sheffield United’s football consultant, last night insisted Bramall Lane’s crowd can help propel the club towards Championship survival.

United entertain Middlesbrough tomorrow in the first of two home games Micky Adams has identified as being of “critical” importance.

The Blades are 22nd in the table and seven points adrift of safety, and United’s manager admitted following Monday’s loss at QPR that their season has reached a crucial stage.

Although Adams refused to label the meeting with Tony Mowbray’s men as must-win, defeat could see United fall even further behind 21st placed Crystal Palace.

Having returned in an advisory role soon after Adams’ appointment in December, ‘Harry’ Bassett told The Star: “Players can put on a front but beneath that they’re not always the most confident of people. It doesn’t take a genius to work out that some of ours have seen their confidence take a knock.

“We’re in a tough situation but not impossible. Until someone tells you it is impossible, you keep fighting on until the last drop of breath leaves your lungs.”

Bassett famously led United to safety in 1991 when, having failed to any of their opening 16 games, they finished 13th in the First Division table.

“It’s not a cliché,” he added. “Our crowd really did help keep us up then and they can do exactly the same now.”