Sheffield United: Boss Wilder wants Blades to enjoy pressure of title run-in

Chris Wilder manager of Sheffield Utd. Pic David Klein/Sportimage
Chris Wilder manager of Sheffield Utd. Pic David Klein/Sportimage
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Manager Chris Wilder wants his side to embrace the pressure of fighting for the League One title and has told them: “Play with a smile on your faces.”

Table-topping United could be promoted tomorrow evening when they face Coventry at Bramall Lane - if they beat Mark Robins’ Checkatrade Trophy winners, and third-placed Fleetwood Town lose to one of Wilder’s former clubs, Oxford.

Either way, United hold a healthy 13-point lead over Fleetwood with six games of the League One season remaining, and only a disastrous run of results will prevent them from playing Championship football next season.

And Wilder, the boyhood Blades fan, said: “There’ll be a few tight games between now and the end of season, for a few clubs. But from our point of view, we’re enjoying the ride.

“I want the players to play with a smile on their face and a spring in their step, and they look like they’re doing that to me.

“I look at our performance for 65 or 70 minutes against Millwall last week, and the players are really enjoying what’s happening here.

“Long may that continue.”

United prevailed 2-1 in the reverse fixture against Coventry back in December, when Billy Sharp added an 87th-minute winner in a game disrupted by home fan protests against their owners, Sisu.

United’s U23s beat Crystal Palace 3-0 yesterday in the Professional Development League.