Tonge keeping calm
By Simon Fudge. Last Updated: January 1, 1970 1:00am
Sheffield United midfielder Michael Tonge says too much is being made of his side's poor recent form.
The Blades have seen their second-place gap in the Championship table cut to five points after claiming just one win in their last seven league contests.
The talented 22-year-old believes promotion rivals Leeds United and Watford deserve more credit for having made the automatic promotion race a real contest.
"We've done really well this season and I think it's only because we've had a few hiccups of late, that everyone is sort of pinpointing at it," Tonge told Sky Sports News
"It's always going to be difficult when it comes to this stage of the season.
"I think sometimes you've got to give teams like Leeds and Watford more credit than what they get because they've been on excellent runs.
"When teams go on runs like that, it's difficult to match them and keep so far ahead and I think they deserve some credit."
After a disappointing defeat at Coventry City last Saturday, Neil Warnock's side face another difficult trip to Nigel Worthington's Norwich City, but Tonge is confident of a result at Carrow Road.
"We've got to go there and just be positive and try and take the game to them," he added.
"It might be a bit easier for us because they're at home, they've got to come and make the play and hopefully, we can hit them on the break at little bit."
The Blades denied rumours this week of a bust-up between Warnock and his players, with Tonge admitting to a good spirit in the squad after a day's trip to the Cheltenham horse racing festival.
"Everyone had a good day, to be honest," Tonge said. "I think, on the whole, the team did quite well.
"We got a few winners so it was an enjoyable day, well worth it."
Meanwhile, Sunderland defender Neill Collins has been recalled from his loan at Championship high-flyers Sheffield United.