DANNY Wilson has rubbished claims Sheffield United’s recent disappointments have dealt their hopes of automatic promotion a crushing blow.
The South Yorkshire club trail second-placed Huddersfield Town by five points after twice surrendering the lead during last weekend’s 4-4 draw with Exeter City.
Wilson, whose side return to League One action at Stevenage on Saturday, has also seen them throw away winning positions against Leyton Orient and arch-rivals Sheffield Wednesday of late.
But he said: “Nobody runs away with this division. Obviously, like everyone else, we’d rather be 10 clear at the top but we’re not.
“In any case, it would count for very little at this stage. In my experience, teams very rarely pull away to such an extent that they’re impossible to catch.
“The most important thing is to put yourself in contention around Christmas time, to be in or around the top eight and to be in touch.
“That way, you give yourself a platform to build on in the New Year and look to push from there.”
Wilson, who conceded fourth-placed United will be expected to be challenging for an immediate return to the Championship after taking charge in May, steered Swindon Town to last year’s League One play-off final.
He added: “Even if you have what looks like being a healthy lead, that can change almost in an instant.
“You can be six clear, lose a game and suddenly that’s down to three and every starts looking over their shoulder.
“There are areas where we can improve but there are plenty of areas where we are doing really well.
“The lads are a really professional bunch and I also think they’ve shown great character at times.”