Chris Wilder believes neither Sheffield United nor Millwall will be prepared to take a backwards step during their crucial Championship showdown at Bramall Lane tomorrow.
United enter the game only three points behind the visitors, who occupy the fourth and final play-off berth, after beating fellow promotion contenders Middlesbrough earlier this week.
With four matches of the season remaining, Wilder last night acknowledged defeat could spell the end of his team’s attempt to win back to back promotions following their League One title triumph 12 months ago.
The high stakes, United’s manager insisted, will appeal to two sides known for their fighting spirit.
“We both go for the jugular,” Wilder said. “There’s not been many times since coming-up, if any, when we’ve gone ‘Wow’ and been intimidated. This is a great opportunity for us and them. Neither of us were being tipped to go up but I’ve got the greatest respect (for Millwall) because of what they’ve done and how, like us, they always give it absolutely everything they’ve got.”
Millwall were also promoted last term, albeit via the play-offs, after beating Bradford City at Wembley Stadium. They travel to South Yorkshire having won nine of their previous 11 outings and unbeaten in the league since January 1.
“We’re disappointed not to be a little bit higher, not to have a few more points, that we’ve got,” Wilder continued. “The top one (Wolves) are going to win the division, there’s a three way battle for second and then a host of teams, including us and Milwall, going for the play-offs.
“At the moment we’re not the sixth best in the competition, they are, because I’m a big believer in the table. But hopefully, when the final whistle goes on the last day of the season at Bristol City, we will be one of the six best teams. It’s been an excellent season but we want to turn it into another memorable one.”
“A draw won’t kill us but a win would put us in a great position,” Wilder added.