Sheffield United: My Blades can push for promotion if they rediscover 'swagger' says boss Chris Wilder

Blades boss Chris WilderBlades boss Chris Wilder
Blades boss Chris Wilder
Manager Chris Wilder insists his Sheffield United side can consolidate their push for promotion to the Premier League in 2018 - if they rediscover their 'swagger' and confidence.

Wilder made the claim after New Year’s Day’s 1-1 draw at Derby County, which saw United dominate the Championship’s second-placed side but slip to seventh in the table after Aston Villa’s 5-0 victory over Bristol City.

United trail Gary Rowett’s Derby by seven points with 60 left to play for this season, and Wilder said: “We’ve attacked the division in every game so far and did the same at Derby.

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“We deserve an enormous amount of credit for our approach, how we as staff and the players go about things.

“They’ve got to believe that they’re well and truly in this division. I’ve said a couple of times now that we’ve landed and although there’s been a couple of times we haven’t got results, we’ve got a foothold in this division.

“We’ve gone toe to toe with the second best team in the division so far and we’re right in this, so hopefully everyone is enjoying it so far.”

Wilder, whose side travel to Ipswich for an FA Cup third round tie this weekend before facing Sheffield Wednesday next Friday, added: “We’re a respectful team, not an arrogant bunch, but I’ve said to the players that maybe sometimes I believe in them more than they believe in themselves.

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“If we can get that little bit of swagger and confidence back that I saw against Sunderland on Boxing Day, and at times in other games, then we’ll be alright in 2018.”

United, who suffered a shock defeat at home to Bolton in their final game of 2017, begain 2018 by going a goal behind at Pride Park before Leon Clarke’s 15th of the season earned them a point - arguably the very least they deserved from a commanding performance.

Wilder admitted afterwards he was hopeful of transfer activity before Saturday’s trip to Portman Road, with Ryan Leonard of Southend one of his top targets.

Bury have held talks with James Hanson about a move to Gigg Lane, and Wilder said: “I’m not saying we’ll get up to the likes of Derby and Aston Villa yet, but we need to strengthen our group. But first and foremost, they have to have the right attitude to supplement what we already have.”