Moans only show how far Sheffield United have come – Chris Wilder

Chris Wilder: Aiming for promotion hat-trick.
Chris Wilder: Aiming for promotion hat-trick.
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Chris Wilder wants his Sheffield United side to finish the season in style and secure a place in the Championship play-offs.

After back-to-back promotions with Northampton and then his beloved Blades, Wilder is setting his sights firmly on a third successive elevation on a personal level.

To achieve that, his United team are going to have to do it via the end-of-season lottery.

The Blades are ninth in the division on 60 points – two shy of sixth-placed side Middlesbrough with just eight matches remaining.

Ahead of Good Friday’s visit to Brentford, another of the play-off-chasing clubs, Wilder not only talked up his side’s chances of gatecrashing the top six but also about how far the team has come under his tutelage.

In their most recent outing, a 0-0 draw at home to Nottingham Forest, a minute section of United’s support could be heard venting their frustrations at Wilder’s troops.

Wilder said: “We’re in touching distance of the play-offs with eight games to go and I think that should be looked at more than any individual game.

“I know there were a few moans and groans (after Forest), but that’s how far we’ve come as a club.

“We’re not playing against mug sides here.

“Yes, we’re a little disappointed that we’re not on the 62-, 63-, 64-point mark.

“But the big thing is that we’re not getting overrun, we’re creating opportunities and that’s good.

“Can we have some big results in these last few games?

“Well, there’s everything to play for.

“It’s a great position to be in and it’s an exciting time for the football club.

“We want to keep over-achieving.

“We want to get in the play-offs and we’re good enough.

“We’re going down the straight now.”

The Blades know that a victory in West London would not only strengthen their chances of a top-six finish but would almost certainly end the Bees’ hopes of reaching the play-offs.

Brentford are eight points off the pace and a defeat to Wilder’s Blades would surely by fatal to their already slim top-six aspirations.

Wilder added: “They’re a very good side technically, but we have got an opportunity to stretch a lead over them on Friday afternoon.

“They can beat the best teams but they can also be beaten.”