Sheffield United manager Nigel Adkins has attributed his team’s improved results of late to the return of key players from injury.
United enter their Boxing Day fixture against Wigan Athletic ranked ninth in the table - just a point behind sixth-placed Peterborough - after beating Scunthorpe last weekend.
That result completed a hat-trick of 1-0 victories for United following recent successes over Oldham Athletic and Coventry City.
“It helps with players coming back,” Adkins said. “When (centre-halves) David Edgar and Collo (Neill Collins) were together earlier on, we won four on the spin. Then, David goes away with Canada, gets injured, and that partnership breaks up.
“Is it a coincidence that, now those two are back together, that things have changed? George (Long) has done ever so well, I must say.
“There’s the return of John Brayford to consider and Bob Harris, even though he’s missed the last couple, too. We are talking about very experienced, senior players out there on the pitch.
United’s upturn in fortunes, combined with their recent run of clean sheets, will be viewed behind the scenes as a vindication of Adkins’ claims that inconsistent selections lead to inconsistent results.
“United supporters want to see a team having a ‘go’ for each other,” he said. “You can debate about styles all day but that’s what they want at the very least.”