Weir is content to embrace expectation from fans

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Pressure from the terraces has been the undoing of many a manager, but already in his short time in the top job David Weir is learning to embrace it.

Sheffield United’s 1-1 draw with Colchester last Saturday made it three matches without a win for the Blades and led to a small minority venting their disapproval at the final whistle.

Many still believe United – with their history and size – should be steamrollering the third tier and Weir welcomes that expectation on his developing squad.

“I expect it and want it,” said the Scotsman.

“We want their expectations to be high, because our expectations are high.

“We make high demands on the players and on ourselves and we expect the fans to do the same.

“The fans’ pressure only comes through the fact that they want the same thing as us – they want to win games, and they want us to play well.

“So I don’t think it’s a bad thing, I think it’s a good thing and we’ll use it as a positive.

“We’ve got to acknowledge it, we’ve got to take it on board and we’ve got to get to the stage where we are enjoying it and realise that the demands that they put on us are the demands we want.”

They are the very demands Weir places on himself, even after just four games as a manager.

He is enjoying every aspect of being the man with whom the buck stops, particularly when it comes to finding the solutions to the questions that his young team continue to raise.

“When you don’t win you question certain things,” he says. “You go back to the drawing board and I enjoy trying to solve the problems that come from being a football manager.”

There may be more to come from a developing squad that is regularly fielding players at the start of their careers.

Integrating a new system has presented further teething problems but Weir remains steadfast in his desire to get United playing an easy-on-the-eye, yet effective, style of football.

“We’re not putting time-frames on it, we’re constantly looking to improve,” said Weir.

“We’ve made good strides so far in regards to what we’re trying to do but it’s constantly evolving and we’re constantly trying to make it better.

“Systems don’t win games and I don’t want to get caught up talking about this being our system, because it’s players who win games, and it’s about giving them a platform to show us what they are capable of.

“We’re happy with the players we’ve got and we’re adjusting and putting things in place that will maximise that, hopefully.”

Today’s trip to Valley Parade is Weir’s first taste of a Yorkshire derby, and a fixture he is relishing.

“Anything that adds to the atmosphere and adds to the occasion and adds to the spice of the game is a good thing,” he said.

“The best players respond to that pressure and they enjoy it, and these are the games we want to be involved in.

“Great credit to Bradford for what they did last year in the (League) Cup, as well as what they did in the league.

“To go and do that, but to have a cup run in the meantime, expunges a lot of myths about cups being detrimental to your League form, so it’s great for them.”