‘These boys have no fear’ says Wilder

Sheffield United will be positive between now and the end of the season: Simon Bellis/Sportimage
Sheffield United will be positive between now and the end of the season: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

Chris Wilder, the Sheffield United manager, is convinced playing “fearless football” represents his team’s best opportunity of reaching the Premier League.

United, who travel to Barnsley this lunchtime only a point behind sixth-placed Middlesbrough, are chasing back to back promotions after lifting the League One title last term.

Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder

Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder

Wilder believes the experience United gained en route to the Championship, which saw them accumulate 100 points after beating Chesterfield on the final day, can serve them well in the battle for play-off qualification.

“What we can learn from last season is fearless football,” he said. “We were fearless last season and we’ve been fearless this season as well.

“Our downfall at times has not been putting games to bed. But it’s always been front foot and I’ve never noticed anyone thinking ‘this might be a bit big for me.’ They’ve gone full-tilt all the way through.”

Despite being warned that survival should be the limit of their ambitions at the beginning of the campaign, United enter the final six matches of the season ranked ninth in the table.

“We’re a dangerous team,” Wilder said. “There are teams who are expected to be in there, who are being tipped. But we have a desire to keep on driving it forward. It’s not surprised me, how they’ve taken on the challenge.

“The division is talked about and hyped up. People tell you what a scary old league it will be, especially people around us. But we established a foothold and went from there.

“Quite a few people now, and not through rose tinted glasses, will think we should even be a bit better off. We’ll learn from the experience.”