SHEFFIELD UNITED manager Chris Wilder has today evoked the spirit of 1990 in the club’s battle with Leeds United to reach the Premier League.
Three points separate the Blades in third from Marcelo Bielsa’s side in the second automatic promotion slot.
The ongoing Yorkshire tussle has evoked memories of the run-in from 29 years ago when the two Uniteds were locked in combat with the prize of reaching the top flight at stake.
Leeds famously beat Dave Bassett’s United at Elland Road 4-0 to move three points clear with four games to play but the two sides ended up both winning automatic promotion on the same number of points.
But for a last-minute miss by Billy Whitehurst in the penultimate fixture at Blackburn, the Blades would have won the title.
With his side trailing Leeds heading into the Bank Holiday programme, Wilder said: “I spoke to Dave Bassett this week and he reminded me of when we get done 4-0 at Leeds.
“Can you imagine what it would have been like now if we have done that. The prize to get in the old First Division was big but nowhere near like now.
“Some supporters will chuck the towel in, he (Bassett) said. It was good to talk to him.
“We all obviously know what the outcome was (in 1990) - it was one of the greatest days to be involved with Sheffield United. There is a lot of football to be played.”
Billy Sharp and Chris Basham will both miss the Good Friday game with Nottingham Forest after failing to recover from hamstring problems suffered in last weekend’s 1-1 draw at home to Millwall.
John Egan also has to sit out the televised encounter through suspension, having been red- carded against the Lions.
The dropping of two points, coupled with Leeds later beating Sheffield Wednesday, left the red-and-white half of the Steel City deflated last weekend.
But a defiant Wilder said: “I get that some of our supporters think we are done. But I am not done. And the players are not done.
“The players are as disappointed as the supporters. There is a lot on the line for these boys, both collectively and individually.
“We have got in this position by having a go and by being disappointed when we have not got the result we wanted. But then coming roaring back.
“It is a huge weekend for us. We have to win football matches. If we do, we are in with a shout. The last time I looked, it was only three points.
“The school I went to was quite a decent one so we are in with a shout.”