Sheffield United: What pleases manager Chris Wilder more than reaching the top of the Championship?
Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder insisted the camaraderie of his players is responsible for their march to the top of the Championship, after watching them seize control of the race for Premier League football.
United entered the international break a point above second-placed West Bromwich Albion following a hard-fought victory over Hull City, who slipped to the foot of the rankings when David McGoldrick converted a second-half penalty.
Despite challenging for the top six last term, Wilder claimed United's attitude since returning to action in August pleases him more than the sight of the league table.
"I do think, in quite a lot of clubs, when they have a bit of success people start thinking about themselves," he said. "They start going individual.Â
"We've got some good players who play in a way that, hopefully, our supporters enjoy watching. But our lads haven't gone individual.Â
"It's not about Billy (Sharp) or Deano (Dean Henderson). It's about the group. The staff are tight and the club, from a playing point of view, is tight as well."
United sealed their fourth win in a row when City's Tommy Elphick was adjudged to have fouled Jack O'Connell inside the box. McGoldrick duly claimed his fifth of the season and 100th career goal after wrong-footing David Marshall, who had earlier seen Enda Stevens and Sharp both go close.
Although Wilder acknowledged he is delighted by United's start to the campaign, the 51-year-old downplayed the significance of their league position after 12 outings.
"It wasn't an issue, it possibly means more to the supporter," he continued. "If you win enough games of football, you'll go top and we're going for wins.Â
"We aren't out there thinking 'we'll take a nil nil' so we don't go top. There's always tests around the corner and the next test is to try and show we can stay in and around the top over this next batch of games. I don't get the impression these lads want to let up. But there's a long way to go and nothing is given to you on a plate. You've got to earn everything you get."
United return to action when they visit Derby County later this month.
"Jack O'Connell late on, cementing their lad over on the wrong side, I loved to see that," Wilder added. "Bash (Chris Basham) has been amazing for me.
"It was a quiet day for Bill but with his goals and the way he's played, he's been excellent as well. It's the way the lads handle themselves and want to go about their work, that's the best thing for me."