Collins pleads for patience as Blades go through transition

Neill Collins
Neill Collins
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NEILL Collins admits Sheffield United remain in early-season transition – but is confident supporters will keep the faith.

Despite an unbeaten start to the League One campaign, Danny Wilson’s pre-season promotion favourites have failed to set the pace at the top as many had hoped, with the Blades currently in sixth spot after three successive draws – one of five accrued in seven games so far in 2012-13.

The latest arrived in Tuesday night’s dour derby stalemate with Doncaster Rovers, with a few boos breaking out at the final whistle among home supporters.

Stand-in captain Collins is confident the Blades will click into gear fully in the coming months, but for the time being wants fans to remain patient.

He said: “People have got to remember we have lost four quality players from last year in Matt Lowton, Stephen Quinn, Ched Evans and Lee Williamson.

“To replace those players at this level is going to be tough as it represents a lot of goals and creativity. People have just got to be with us and accept it’s a different team.

“I’ve been at a few clubs, but the fans here really are fantastic and get behind us great like at Scunthorpe and they will be there in force at Yeovil on Saturday. Ok, they will have gone away expecting us to have beat Doncaster, but come Saturday, they will be behind us. They will know that with the management, we are trying to do everything right.

“The club is in a bit of transition, more so than it was last summer. But we will all stick together and, hopefully, we can start winning a couple more games.”

Regardless of their undefeated league run, the Blades trail early pacesetters Tranmere by six points, courtesy of their draw deluge – but Collins has stressed the psychological importance of not having lost yet.

He added: “Obviously, people would say we would be better with a couple of defeats and the rest being wins. But from a psychological point of view, to still be unbeaten is pretty good. Especially at Bramall Lane, which we want to make into a fortress.

“As long as you don’t turn the draws into defeats, you are doing all right. If we can turn them into victories, we’ll be looking towards the top of the table.”