Chris Wilder has reassured Sheffield United’s League One rivals his team will not disrespect the competition by coasting its way through the rest of the season after securing a Championship place next term.
United, who moved 16 points clear of third-placed with only four matches remaining after beating Northampton Town last weekend, return to action against relegation threatened Port Vale on Friday before hosting play-off hopefuls Bradford City at Bramall Lane.
With strugglers Chesterfield set to visit South Yorkshire on the final day of the present campaign, Wilder insisted United will “savour the moment” but remain “100 per cent committed” to lifting the title.
“The lads know they play for a special club in front of a special set of fans,” he said. “We want to finish off on a high and that’s been the mentality of the group right the way through. We set that off as a staff and they’ve taken it forward. We want to get to 100 points, no doubt about it. We’ll be giving everything, the same as we always have, every time we set foot on the pitch.”
“There’s four wins in front of us,” Wilder added. “I’ve told the players these seasons don’t come year in year out. They’ve got to enjoy it. The fans showed what it means to them and there were six thousand or so watching the (Northampton) game back at Bramall Lane. The players deserve everything. But it’s not job done yet. No way.”
Leaders United will move 12 points clear of their nearest rivals Bolton Wanderers if they win at Vale Park. Phil Parkinson’s side face Oldham Athletic 24 hours later, ahead of a meeting with Bury on Tuesday.
“We’ve wanted to win, wherever we’ve played,” Wilder said. “We’ve just wanted to win games of football. That’s been the attitude all the way through and it’s not going to change now. I know it won’t. We set the tone as staff but, I tell you what, these lads have carried it on all the way through.”
“Take what happened (at Northampton) for example. ‘Just get the job done. Come on, pull your finger out.’ It was a tight game and, to be fair, they deserved to be up at half-time. So there were a few words said. But that epitomised what these lads are all about, they dragged themselves off the canvas. They always do that. It tells you all you need to know about the desire.”
“You can’t put a price on having that type of attitude and togetherness,” Wilder added. “We’ve got strong, technical players but, the difference is, they want it every single week. Every single game. They fight for each other and they don’t give in. Ever.”