Blades chief bullish over prospects

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Danny Wilson has dismissed Sheffield United’s poor record in the play-offs and insists the Blades are confident of success, writes Richard Hercock.

United have fallen at the final hurdle a record three times, losing to Wolverhampton (2003) – then managed by current Wednesday chief Dave Jones – Crystal Palace (1997) and Burnley (2009) in the Championship play-off final.

They also lost to Sunderland at the semi-final stage over two legs in 1998.

But as the Blades go into the final-day decider at Exeter, needing to win and hoping rivals Wednesday slip up against Wycombe, Wilson is bullish about their chances if they finish third and enter the end-of-season play-offs.

Asked if he was worried about United’s poor play-off record, Wilson said: “Why should it make any difference? None whatsoever.

“We have had many games this season where people have said ‘we haven’t beaten them’ and we have won. ‘We have never won away from home there’ and we have won.

“It counts for nothing. It will count for something if you let it affect you. We might as well just pack up and go on holiday now if that’s the case, not even bother with the play-offs.

“But we know it’s far from that and going into the play-offs is a fantastic opportunity.”

With the first leg of the play-off semi-final on Friday night, Wilson is aware that neither the players nor fans can afford to carry over any hangover if they finish third come 5pm today.

“The fans have been great in every away game so far this season,” he said. “Whatever happens at Exeter the disappointment will not be there because we have to use this as a springboard into the next game, which comes fairly quickly.

“There will be no room for any frustration or disappointment to be carried over, we have to be ready for the next game. The season’s very much alive, what a great opportunity, whichever way it goes.

“We have to go down there thinking that the minimum we can get is a win, to give us a chance. If we do that, then who knows what will happen up and down the country?

“I am sure Blades fans will be frustrated, like everyone was last weekend. But let’s put things in perspective. Let’s put a real positive spin on things, we are in a great position.”