Sheffield United: This is the result Chris Wilder believes underlines his squad’s progress

Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder thinks his team are battle-hardened: Robin Parker/Sportimage
Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder thinks his team are battle-hardened: Robin Parker/Sportimage

On paper, it was exactly the type of result a team challenging for promotion should expect to record against opponents threatened with relegation.

But as Sheffield United attempt to take another step towards the Championship play-offs at Brentford on Friday, Chris Wilder has cited their recent victory over Burton Albion as evidence his squad are genuine top six contenders.

“That was the type of game where this club has slipped up far too many times in the past,” he said. “It was an awkward match, make no mistake about that. Even going back last year, there’s never been a fear. That’s surely, can only be a good thing.”

United must pass an altogether different type of test at Griffin Park where they will be confronted by a side Wilder regards as one of the most technically accomplished in the division. However, he believes the experience of reaching 100 points en route to last season’s League One title could prove invaluable for United during the closing stages of this campaign.

“There was a big prize with the 100 points on the last day,” Wilder, the United manager, said. “Okay, the disappointment might have faded after a few beers. But I want them to play in a way they enjoy and also in a way that makes people enjoy watching them.

“Sometimes, you have to play in not great environments. Sometimes players get bad press but, being a former player myself, what gives you the best opportunity to produce is what our crowd and our club has given them.

“There has to be a process and a structure to what you do. Those are two things we’ve worked hard to try and provide.”