Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder has urged his high-flying Blades players to carry on the good work.
Wilder held a meeting with United’s squad yesterday at the club’s Shirecliffe training ground to remind them of the impressive job they have done in the opening third of the season.
Despite a week that has yielded just one point from games against Derby County and Stoke City – a disappointing return that did not reflect their performances – only goal difference keeps the Blades off top spot in the Championship.
The Yorkshire trio of Leeds United, Middlesbrough and the Blades are locked together on 26 points, with Derby County, Norwich City and Nottingham Forest just two points adrift.
The Blades are certainly punching above their weight in terms of financial strength at the top and Wilder has been quick to remind his players to stay positive ahead of tomorrow’s visit of Wigan Athletic.
“I think we are in a great position,” said Wilder, reflecting on Joe Allen’s late equaliser that saw Stoke claim a draw at Bramall Lane on Tuesday night.
“There’s always that scrutiny of how you are playing, and not seeing the game over the line.
“We have had meetings about what we are not doing right. But this time I have had a meeting and told them they are doing a hell of a lot of things right, and we are on the right track.”
In recent weeks Boro, Leeds and the Blades have been trading places at the top of the Championship.
Not that Wilder wants to get embroiled in a Yorkshire power struggle while ignoring the chasing pack
“I think it would quite arrogant of us to say the top three keep changing positions,” stressed the Blades chief.
“If you pick up points, if you keep playing well, you’ll stay up there. I think we’re pound for pound right up there in terms of what we’ve got and where we are at.
“We are a long way off the likes of Stoke, West Brom and other clubs in the division in terms of what you need to push on. But we’re up there.
“I’m not trying to play all of this down’ but, for what we’ve got, where we’re at and where we are the boys should be proud of what they’re doing.”