Billy Sharp is convinced Sheffield United can silence their critics by winning promotion this season.
But the centre-forward warned Nigel Adkins’ side must be prepared to take risks to force itself back into the play-off positions, starting at Rochdale tomorrow.
Despite being installed as title favourites soon after Adkins’ appointment in June, United enter tomorrow’s game ranked eighth, four points behind sixth-placed Coventry City with 14 matches remaining.
“Our aim is still the same,” Sharp said. “To go and get promoted, just like it was at the start.
“We didn’t think we were just going to turn-up and win the league. But this squad has got the potential to have won it and has definitely got the potential to go up. We’ve got to be confident enough and brave enough to put ourselves in a position to do it.”
Sharp, who scored his 15th goal of the season during last weekend’s victory over Port Vale, has previously won promotions with both Scunthorpe and Southampton.
“We need to go on a run now,” he added. “It’s like scoring goals.
“When I score in one game, I think I’m going to score in the next one and then, when I do, I know I’m going to score in the one after that.
“When you are winning, it’s harder to lose a match but, when you aren’t, it’s harder to win.”
Meanwhile, Gillingham have escaped a points deductions after fielding an ineligible player - Emmanuel Osadebe - during the victory over United in August.
The club have instead been fined £4000, suspended for 12 months.