O’Grady says Blades are automatic contenders

Sheffield United's Chris O'Grady. Picture: Martyn Harrison.
Sheffield United's Chris O'Grady. Picture: Martyn Harrison.
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Sheffield United striker Chris O’Grady believes the Blades can still gatecrash automatic promotion.

The 28-year-old netted his first goal for the Blades – who have lost just once in nine league games – in Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Walsall. The dropped points mean United are eight points behind second-placed MK Dons heading into the Boxing Day trip to Port Vale.

But O’Grady – currently on loan from Brighton – believes United can still clinch a top-two finish.

“We are ticking along nicely, picking up points, and it would be nice to pick up three points and start getting wins,” said O’Grady.

“We are in contention, we are still in touch, that’s the important thing. We are picking up a lot of draws, not being defeated, which is good. It’s going to be a case of learning from this, and when the time is right, turn these draws into wins later in the season.

“If you go on a run later in the season, but are nowhere near the top, then it’s obviously not going to matter too much. It is similar to last season, the run that this club went on.

“We are in touch, we know the finer details need to be tweaked, and hopefully we can put that into practice.

“The games are coming thick and fast, which is a good thing, and we will be looking to put a run together.

“It’s nice to score, but the real weight off my shoulders will be when we get our first win.

“That’s more important than me scoring goals, it’s about being part of a winning team.”

O’Grady’s loan expires next month, but the striker – who has had spells at Rotherham United, Sheffield Wednesday and Barnsley – would be keen to extend his return to South Yorkshire.

He said: “I would definitely be interested in staying.

“I just want to enjoy my football, and that’s what I am doing right now. To just feel wanted, and be regarded, is important to me and that’s when I play my best stuff.”

And has the former Owls striker won over United supporters?

“I am not totally sure about that, I have not played many games yet,” he smiled. “I am just doing whatever I can, working as hard as I can.

“At all the Yorkshire clubs I have been at, I know what Yorkshire fans want from their teams and that’s what I tend to do.”