Paul Heckingbottom has urged his squad to maintain focus and not allow the disruption of games to allow the team to be distracted.
Sheffield United have had a very stop-start December. Instead of the usual flurry of fixtures, the Blades have only played twice all month.
Games against Preston North End, Hull City and QPR have all been postponed due to their oppositions’ request because of a lack of players.
“All we can do is get on with it,” said Heckingbottom, via the Star.
“Whatever happens, we have no other choice but to keep working hard, keep our heads down and keep doing what we are doing. We can’t afford to get distracted by anything. That simply isn’t an option.”
Sheffield United are 11th in the Championship table. Heckingbottom only took over on a permanent basis at the end of November.
The 44-year old has overseen a four game winning run, including impressive victories over Fulham, Cardiff City, Bristol City and Reading.
Despite the league position, United are also only four points off the play-off places and they have two games in hand.
“The lads would rather be out there playing, especially when they’re getting results,” said Heckingbottom, whose side is 11th. “But it is what it is and we have to be ready and totally focused no matter what is thrown at us by things going on elsewhere.”
Heckingbottom’s side next face their former manager Chris Wilder. They welcome Middlesbrough to Bramall Lane on January 1.
Heckingbottom has every reason to feel aggrieved. The uncertainty around this unfortunate situation can definitely be distracting for his side.
Training modules and methods could’ve been adapted to take account for these adjustments but the lack of warning with postponements would’ve made this quite difficult.
However, the time off should have helped the team stay sharp and fit. The December schedule is usually the most brutal of the season and instead they were able to recharge.
This does mean that they will likely face a congested period later in the season, which could prove pivotal for their fortunes this campaign.