CHRIS WILDER has urged his Sheffield United side to embrace the pressures of a Championship promotion race.
The Blades host West Bromwich Albion tomorrow night looking to strengthen their grip on third place.
Victory would also cut the deficit to Leeds United in the second automatic promotion place to just two points ahead of Marcelo Bielsa’s men heading to Bolton Wanderers on Saturday.
United were in a similar position this time last year but finished 10th after winning just three of their final dozen games.
Asked about his side’s prospects this time around, Wilder said: “I don’t know what is going to happen in the future. I can only deal with the here and now. We are third in the division, ahead of some really good clubs.
“Why shouldn’t we be? I have told the players not to be frightened of it. Do not take a step back from it.
I have told the players not to be frightened of it. Do not take a step back from it. Do we want to be contenders or pretenders? They had a bit of a chuckle at that one, but it is the right way to go about it.Sheffield United boss, Chrios Wilder
“Do we want to be contenders or pretenders? They had a bit of a chuckle at that one, but it is the right way to go about it.
“People say that we should not be here and maybe we should not. But we are, so let’s give it a right go.”
Leon Clarke is a major injury doubt for tonight’s clash with the Baggies. Wilder, in response, has recalled young forward Tyler Smith from his loan spell at Barrow.
“We are just assessing Leon and we will give him as much time as possible,” added Wilder. “If Leon isn’t involved, then Tyler will – and we are looking forward to that.”