Manager Nigel Clough has urged his side to “show no fear” when they travel to face League One leaders Bristol City this weekend.
City have won 11 of their 14 games on home soil this season, and go into the clash with sixth-placed United four points clear of Swindon in second.
But Clough, who has refused to concede defeat in his side’s quest to gatecrash the automatic promotion places, said: “We’ve got two tough away trips coming up [to Bristol and Notts County, next Tuesday] and we’ll probably know a bit more about our top-two chances after that.
“It’s a big ask but we’ve got nothing to be frightened of. Sometimes edginess can come from the crowd but players have to try and not be distracted by that. They just have to go out and play their football.”
Clough, speaking after United reclaimed their top-six spot by beating Colchester 4-1 at Bramall Lane on Tuesday, added: “We’ve been threatening a four-goal game at Bramall Lane for a while, and we hope it inspires a bit of confidence in us. We’ve scored six goals in two home league games after the 2-0 win over Swindon, so there’s no reason for us not to be confident.
“We had a blip on Saturday [losing 2-0 at Gillingham] but that was down to individual mistakes. If we came out of that at 0-0 we’d have won seven points from nine, with a couple of clean sheets and we’d have looked in good shape. Those last few minutes knocked everyone’s confidence a little bit but, as I say, we have got nothing to be frightened of.”
Matty Done, a January buy from Rochdale, notched on his United debut on Tuesday.
“Matty has a good assist record but when he’s in a position to score, he knows how to finish,” Clough added.
“He was blowing a bit and his ankle felt sore, so we brought him off. We hope he’s okay for Saturday but our first impressions are that we like what we see.”