The 1-1 draw between Sheffield United and Crawley Town on Friday night ended a wretched run of six straight league defeats for the Blades, but manager David Weir is still feeling the pressure with his side firmly entrenched in the bottom four.
Marlon King's leveller earned United just their second point since the opening day victory over Notts Country, cancelling out Jamie Proctor's early strike at Bramall Lane to give Weir's side their first point since August 17th.
Despite halting the alarming run of defeats, the 43-year-old former Everton and Rangers defender remains under intense scrutiny, especially after Prince Abdullah bin Mosaad bin Abdulaziz Al Saud bought a 50% share in the club, promising fans that they would return to the Premier League in the near future.
Weir's dismal start to the season puts those plans in doubt, and a late transfer window flurry has failed to galvanise the side. Jose Baxter, Florent Cuvelier, Harry Bunn, Ryan Hall, Marlon King and Simon Lappin have all been brought in since Prince Abdullah became involved in the club, spending far more than the average League One side could afford.
It hasn't paid dividends so far, with the Blades notching just six goals in the league this season, the lowest total in the division. Weir has been backed handsomely in the transfer market and still results haven't improved – and supporters are beginning to lose patience with him.
A small portion of United fans are clamouring for the return of Neil Warnock, who was their manager between 1999 and 2007, overseeing the most successful period in the club's recent history. Warnock is without a job having left Leeds United in April, but seemed to distance himself from a return to management in August.
“I don’t want to get back into football at the moment. I’ve really enjoyed these last few months [of retirement].
“I don’t think I can cope with the hassle again. The phone is constantly going and you can’t go on like that forever.
“Managers aren’t given enough time at the moment. If you work for 12 months then you’ve done well.”
Warnock's statement on giving managers time is somewhat apt, as whilst Weir remains in the job as this is written, the speculation of his future is intensifying with each passing disappointment. With a potential banana skin on the horizon in Tuesday's Johnstone Paint Trophy fixture against Hartlepool of League Two, a defeat could spell the end of Weir's short stint as manager.
image: © nicksarebi