Sheffield United: Blades boss Chris Wilder dismisses controversial theory about his team's promotion
Chris Wilder, the Sheffield United manager, has rubbished claims his team were fortunate to achieve promotion because many of their Championship rivals under-performed.
Instead, as United prepare for their first taste of Premier League football since 2007, Wilder insisted their success can be attributed to a fearless attitute and intelligent recruitment rather than the mistakes of other clubs.
Wilder's squad finished second in the table last season, above big-spenders such as Stoke City, West Bromwich Albion and play-off winners Aston Villa, after winning 26 and drawing 11 of their 46 games.
"Like I said last year, if people thought it was a poor division or teams under-achieved or whatever, we got 89 points and it was enough to get us out of the division," Wilder said, suggesting that preserving their top-flight status would be his greatest achievement since taking charge of United. "We'll go into every game trying to get something from it.
"We'll have to be cute and up our game on the pitch and off the pitch but we recognise the challenge that is in front of us.
"It is an enormous challenge staying in the division and it will obviously be better than getting out of the previous division but we are excited and we're not scared about it."
Asked if avoiding relegation was his target next term, Wilder, who also led United out of League One after being appointed three years ago, replied: "It has to be, yes. We'll go into every game and try to do our best and get a result in it."