Chris Wilder has warned Sheffield United must be ready to “stand-up and be counted” at AFC Wimbledon this weekend.
United will enter Saturday’s match hoping to record a third consecutive victory in League One competition following wins over Oxford and Gillingham.
But Wilder admitted the Londoners’ tiny Kingsmeadow stadium will test his players’ mental and physical resolve.
“At times you have to stand up and be counted,” the United manager said. “There’s no hiding place.
“But I don’t think that’s been a problem for us, it’s certainly not what I’ve seen since coming here even when results weren’t great.
“You are looking for leaders all over the pitch, people who will take responsibility and lead when the chips are up or down. But the lads weren’t hiding when they were down. It wasn’t about lack of leadership. It was just isolated mistakes which, hopefully, we have cut out now.
“The attitude and character of the squad is good.”
Despite taking maximum points from their last two games, United made a slow start to the present campaign as individual errors contributed to defeats by Southend, Millwall and Bolton Wanderers. But, after seemingly rectifying that situation, the team which travels to the capital appears a much more ruthless beast.
“There is an expectation level here,” Wilder said. “We understand that and, because of the decisions we’ve made, we’ve cranked up the pressure on ourselves at times. We’ve not been out-passed by anybody, we’ve not been out-fought by anybody and we’ve not been out-thought either I don’t think.”
“So we need to stay focused, keep on working hard and doing what we are doing,” Wilder added. “Keep on doing the things and adhering to the principles which have brought us results.”