Chris Wilder has urged his players to trust their own footballing intelligence as the race for a top six finish enters the final straight.
The Sheffield United manager, whose team resumes their bid for promotion from the Championship against Brentford on Friday, issued the reminder after claiming it is more important to produce effective rather than extravagant football during the final eight matches of the campaign.
“The best stuff is simple stuff - simple football mixed with good quality,” Wilder said. “The lads have shown they can do it - they wouldn’t be in this position if they couldn’t - and that’s what we’ve got to do, make the right decisions and be sharp in the key areas.”
United remained two points behind Middlesbrough, who occupy the fourth and final play-off berth, after being held to a goalless draw by Nottingham Forest last weekend. Wilder used their most recent performance to illustrate the danger of being swayed by the crowd, despite praising United supporters for their “amazing” backing this term.
“Just because people are baying for you to shoot, if you can see the shot is blocked or that a pass is a better option then take it,” Wilder continued. “Do what you know is the right thing to do. There were a few times in that game when we took the wrong decision. We’ve got intelligent players here. To make the right decision, you need that little bit of calmness.”
Meanwhile, Enda Stevens and David Brooks were both on duty for their respective countries yesterday.
Stevens was an unused substitute for the Republic of Ireland during their 1-0 defeat in Turkey while Brooks completed the full 90 minutes as Wales under-21’s were beaten by the same scoreline in Bosnia and Herzegovina.