AFTER going into the first international break of the season justifying their billing as the pre-season favourites to win promotion, Sheffield United have lost their way over the past week.
Losing at home to Bury was a blow, though one that was slightly tempered by the ‘smash and grab’ nature of the Shakers’ triumph.
On Tuesday, however, Colchester United went to Bramall Lane without a win in six games and then performed so admirably that the neutrals in the crowd felt the Essex side were well worth the 3-2 triumph.
United’s task at Valley Parade, therefore, is to bounce back and regain the momentum that has ebbed away via those two back-to-back defeats.
Manager Nigel Adkins said: “It is another game coming up, they come thick and fast and we are looking forward to it.
“I am not hiding away from the fact that we have lost our last two and the momentum we had built up before the international break has now gone. We want to regain that and the next opportunity is Bradford.
“They will be tough. Phil Parkinson has done a cracking job, you can see that with the cup runs.
“We know it will be competitive and that they have got massive strengths. We have got to combat those, but also impose ourselves on the game.
“Before we even kicked a ball, I highlighted there are no easy games. You have got to work your socks off and earn the right to play. The lads have come in, we are ready and focused. There is a hunger about the players to do well and a collective spirit.”
United need a response after those two home losses and Adkins added: “One of the big things for me is that, yes we didn’t win those games, but we created probably more chances than we had all season. That is something we want to keep on doing.
“You can always take something away from a game to keep the confidence high. You are never going to have it all your own way.
“We need a good camaraderie and we want to make those lads on the pitch at any given time feel 10 feet tall, to get behind them and be supportive of them.”