Sheffield United's George Baldock: Fifth in the Premier League but we've achieved nothing yet
Sheffield United have had two weeks to enjoy being in a Europa League spot but wing-back George Baldock knows they have achieved nothing yet.
With others playing first, the Blades are highly unlikely to still be fifth by the time Manchester United visit Bramall Lane on Sunday, but they will certainly be above their famous opponents.
Europe, though, is a smokescreen. Many pundits were tipping Chris Wilder’s side for relegation, and proving them wrong is the over-riding priority.
They signalled their intent in the last block of games, beating Arsenal, drawing with Tottenham Hotspur in Mauricio Pochettino’s final game despite having a goal harshly chalked off by the video assistant referee, and hammering Burnley 3-0. It has quietened the naysayers, but will count for nothing if they take their eye off the ball now.
“I’ve had it before,” said former Milton Keynes Dons, Tamworth, Northampton Town and Oxford United player Baldock, “you play at League Two and people say, ‘Yeah, but can he play League One?’ You play at League One, ‘Can he play in the Championship?’
“We’ve all had knockbacks and question marks over us. We all had it coming into this division, with the pundits not even taking us seriously in the Premier League.
“To do be fifth in the Premier League is brilliant but we’ve achieved nothing. I want to make that clear: We’ve achieved nothing at the minute.
“We’ve got our points total and that’s that. There are so many games to play and we’re not going to get ahead of ourselves.”
The Blades have 17 points after 12 of their 38 games. In the last three seasons, 34 or 35 have been needed to avoid relegation.
There was a bit of a comedown after the victory over Europa League finalists Arsenal, the Blades’s first big scalp back in the top flight, but only for the first half at West Ham United.
Baldock says manager Wilder will not allow complacency.
“We had belief at the start of the season but every man knows we’ve nowhere near accomplished what we want to achieve this season,” he said. “Our manager will not let us get ahead of ourselves. If we do, he will come down on us like a tonne of bricks.
“He’ll keep us so grounded and I think that honesty, desire and fight can be seen in our performances.
“We’ll be unbeaten away at the start of December but still the boys think we should have more points. It’s such a positive group, I’m thoroughly enjoying being a part of it.”