Sheffield United silence their critics to move back into play-off picture

SHEFFIELD UNITED manager Chris Wilder feels his side's impressive win over promotion rivals Derby County has firmly answered criticism from doubters who have recently questioned the Blades' top-six credentials.

Chris Wilder acknowledges the home fans at Bramall Lane on Boxing Day. Picture: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

The Blades were full value for their first home victory since October 27 as they erased memories of their recent losses to fellow high-fliers West Brom and Leeds United in the best way possible.

Victory was achieved thanks to goals from Billy Sharp, David McGoldrick and substitute Leon Clarke in a 3-1 win as United leapfrogged Derby into fourth spot in the Championship after a powerhouse second-half performance.

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Wilder said: “People have spoken about us not beating a team in the top six (recently) and not winning and all sorts of bits during games.

Leon Clarke celebrates scoring Sheffield United's third goal at Bramall Lane. Picture: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

“There was a bit of noise and nonsense before about bits and pieces, but the players answered all those questions in the best way by doing it out on the pitch.

“I thought we got above the line where we had fallen in the last two (home) games against Leeds and West Brom.

“Belief is important and we said at half-time that we were a little bit tentative. But I do not think anyone could question the attitude of the players.

“You go through little periods where things do not go for you and it is how you come out of that.”