Sheffield United's target is to make Premier League 'mini-league' bigger and spread the nervousness

Having crossed off Sheffield United's first win of the season, Paul Heckingbottom's next target is to drag more teams into the relegation dogfight.

Going into this weekend's games there was a five-point gap between the bottom four Sheffield United are at the base of and 16th-placed Everton.

With matches against Burnley and Bournemouth after the international break, the Blades will hope to clamber up their mini-league but Heckingbottom would also like to see it get larger.

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But any win will make those higher up squirm a little more, and the Blades hope to start that with victory at Brighton and Hove Albion on Sunday.

TARGET: Sheffield United manager Paul HeckingbottomTARGET: Sheffield United manager Paul Heckingbottom
TARGET: Sheffield United manager Paul Heckingbottom

"That’s our intention to do that," said Heckingbottom ahead of the game. "Imagine if we get a couple more wins and what teams will then be thinking?

"We want it as tough as possible and I would think the other teams at the bottom would want that.

"We don’t just want four teams at the bottom. You want to get as many wins as possible and as early as possible for two reasons.

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"You want to be out of trouble, of course you do, but you want as many people as possible in a dogfight with you.

"Let them feel the pressure as well."

Regardless of the bigger picture, though, the Blades' task remains the same – accumulating as many points as possible. So far they only have four with 11 games played, a ratio they will have to improve to secure Premier League safety.

"Our focus won’t change unless we’re winning the next dozen games and we’re in a totally different position in the league," said Heckingbottom.

"Our goal is still going to be the same.

"We want more points to drag even more teams into it.

"The sooner we can do that the better."