Chris Wilder praised his Sheffield United side for beating promotion rivals Bolton on Saturday after admitting it was “about time” they tasted victory in a “big game”.
United extended their lead at the top of League One to seven points after Billy Sharp’s brace sunk Bolton, who dropped to fourth.
Curiously, United have won only two of their nine games so far against the rest of the current top six in the division - beating Bolton and sixth-placed Southend - and have lost three, with four draws.
And Wilder, whose side return to action this weekend at mid-table Rochdale, admitted of the Bolton victory: “It’s only three points, but it’s a big three points against a rival.
“We needed to win a big game because we drew at Bradford, drew home and away with Scunthorpe and drew at Fleetwood - who are doing great.
“So it’s about time we won a big game, and we certainly did that with a big performance against Bolton.”
Sharp’s brace saw him hit the headlines again, this time for the right reasons after he was dragged into controversy in midweek when a video emerged of Gary Madine, the Bolton striker, calling him a ‘fat pig’.
Madine was subsequently left out of Bolton’s squad - he made the trip to South Yorkshire but boss Phil Parkinson later said he was ill - and Wilder added: “I was a bit disappointed that we gave a lot of free-kicks away in the first half because they thrive on those positions. They have some big lads.
“In the second half we stayed on our feet and worked them a bit harder, passed and played, and I don’t think 2-0 flattered us.
“We’ve dominated two really good sides in the space of two weeks, in Scunthorpe United and Bolton.”