Chris Wilder wants reaching the Championship to mark the start of a new golden era at Bramall Lane rather than simply being a one-off achievement.
The Sheffield United manager issued the challenge after watching his team guarantee themselves a top two finish following last weekend’s victory at Northampton Town.
Goals from Leon Clarke and John Fleck, whose performances this term have been a driving force behind United’s climb to the top of the League One table, moved Wilder’s side 16 points clear of third-placed Fleetwood Town with only four matches remaining.
“We go into a tough division,” he said. “We all understand that. We’ll sit down, talk and add but we’ve got the core of a really good group who can play there too. Flecky, he’s been outstanding. He’s one of those who can, without a shadow of a doubt, up there. We’ve done the recruitment well, in two windows. I’ve got to say the backing I’ve received from (co-owners) the Prince (Abdullah bin Musa’ed bin Abdulaziz Al Saud) and from Kevin (McCabe) has been outstanding.”
Wilder has performed wonders since being appointed in May. United enter Friday’s match at Port Vale nine points clear of Bolton Wanderers who currently occupy the second automatic promotion spot.
“I know it’s been said about getting our club back,” Wilder, a lifelong supporter of the club and former player, added. “I think we have and we are on our way. How long it takes, there’s a lot of things that go into that including investment and a bit of luck. But we’re a great football club and we’re worthy occupants of being a Championship side next year and I think we can compete in that division.”