Chris Wilder explains what will happen if Sheffield United lose focus

Chris Wilder, the Sheffield United manager, has warned his players risk undoing all of their recent progress if they begin listening to the praise being lavished upon the club following its impressive start to the Premier League season.

Wednesday, 18th December 2019, 7:31 am
Sheffield United's manager Chris Wilder: Joe Giddens/PA Wire.
Sheffield United's manager Chris Wilder: Joe Giddens/PA Wire.

United are preparing for Saturday’s visit to Brighton and Hove Albion in seventh - only four points behind fourth-placed Chelsea - after losing only four of their opening 17 fixtures since being promoted last term.

Although victory at the AMEX Stadium would move them to within four wins of the total usually required to guarantee top-flight survival, Wilder is refusing to contemplate the bigger picture and is advising his squad to do the same.

“It’s on to the next game, that’s the way it is, that’s all I’m looking at,” Wilder said. “That’s all we can be bothered about, accumulating more points, because this competition is so demanding.”

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Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder takes his team to Brighton and Hove Albion this weekend: Mike Egerton/PA Wire.

“The minute you take your eyes off that, the next game, that’s when you up your chances of coming unstuck,” he added. “Anything can happen. Anything. We just want to keep driving it forward.”

United have captured the imagination of rival supporters and former professionals alike with their results of late, which include wins over the likes of Everton, Arsenal and most recently Aston Villa, who were beaten 2-0 at Bramall Lane last weekend. Midfielder John Fleck, who scored both of their goals against Dean Smith’s side, will miss the trip to Sussex through suspension.