Nigel Adkins, the Sheffield United manager, insisted his team can still win automatic promotion following its dramatic comeback against Wigan Athletic.
The visitors appeared destined for a defeat which would have all but signalled the end of their top two chances after falling 3-0 behind at the DW Stadium last night.
But goals from Matt Done (2) and Billy Sharp saw United claim a point which, given the circumstances in which it was achieved, Adkins described as a “potentially pivotal moment” of the season.
“The players have shown character, spirit, determination and desire out there,” Adkins, who revealed he expects on-loan midfielder Dean Hammond to remain with United for the rest of the campaign, said. “And they have shown it in abundance. They have shown they never know when they are beaten and that they will never give up. Ever. They have shown the attitude out there it takes to be a Sheffield United player. End of. Yes, it was a point. A draw against a very good side. But because of the way those lads have got it, how they dragged themselves back, that could be a catalyst for things to come.”
The result lifts United to seventh in the League One table - three points behind sixth-placed Peterborough - while Wigan remain fifth.
“We know it’s a big ask to get in the top two,” Adkins continued. “But it’s a challenge we are ready to take on.”
Adkins, meanwhile, confirmed Hammond’s parent club Leicester City have indicated the former Southampton captain will be allowed to renew his loan at Bramall Lane when it expires later this month.
“Yes, I’m confident of keeping Dean,” Adkins said. “Good conversations have taken place but, until everything is signed on the dotted line, you never know in football.”