Sheffield United: Super Hans says knowledge is power in the battle for promotion
James Hanson thinks Sheffield United's experience of high-pressure situations could prove crucial as the scramble for promotion enters a decisive phase.
The centre-forward, who is expected to partner Billy Sharp in attack at Rochdale today, last night insisted Chris Wilder’s recruitment strategy over the past two transfer windows means United are better equipped to cope than some of their rivals.
Hanson, a £150,000 signing from Bradford City last month, said: “If you look at our squad, the gaffer has recruited well. There are players who have been there and done that in this division. We know what the division is about and we know what is at stake. It really is about taking every game as it comes, knowing the only people you can effect is yourselves. We know what you have to do in these situations, how you have to battle it out. If we perform well over the next 12 games then, hopefully, we should be okay.”
United move seven points clear of second-placed Scunthorpe when, having drawn with Graham Alexander’s side last month, they beat fellow top two hopefuls Bolton Wanderers seven days ago.
“I think we’re still disappointed we didn’t win the Scunthorpe game but, looking at the bigger picture, it’s two more chalked-off and they’ve not narrowed the gap and kept them at arms length,” Hanson added. “The performances against both clubs probably warranted six points. The others had games in hand and they’ve dropped points. So that’s a big boost for us ahead of some tough away games coming up.”
Hanson described United’s recent draw at Bristol Rovers, a match he missed through injury, as the template for this afternoon’s visit to Spotland.
“Bristol Rovers, for example, we had a few players out ourselves,” he said. “But we went there, got a point and dug-in at the end. We are going to have to dig in at times over the next three away games but it’s results like that that get you promoted.”