Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder has accused rivals who claim the Championship table means nothing at this stage of the season of being economical with the truth, insisting they would swap places with his second-placed side “in a heartbeat.”
But Wilder, whose team entered the international break only two points behind leaders Wolverhampton Wanderers, acknowledged there are still plenty of hurdles to overcome before United can begin contemplating back-to-back promotions.
“Where we are, second in the division, people would swap that with us in a heartbeat,” he said. “Listen, I’m not daft enough to think it’s not where you finish that counts. But where we are right now is thoroughly deserved.
“We know there are challenges up ahead. We are looking forward to them. But I’m pleased and proud of how the boys are doing. The aim is to try and keep it going.”
United recorded their 11th victory in 16 outings when they beat Hull City 4-1 four days ago. Leon Clarke, a member of the squad which won the League One last season, scored all four of his side’s goals as they returned to the automatic promotion places.
United had climbed to first after winning last month’s Yorkshire derby against Leeds but relinquished pole position following a narrow defeat at Queens Park Rangers.
“I’m not surprised they bounce back because that’s how the boys are,” Wilder continued. “They want to do well individually and they want to do well as a team.
“We always remind them what we’re good at and the important thing is to try and make the opposition try and handle it. We will always have respect for the opposition but we always focus on ourselves.”
United return to action when they visit Burton Albion on November 17.
“If somebody told me they would rather be further down the table than up towards the top at this stage,” Wilder said, “Well, I’m not sure if I’d believe them.”