Sheffield United: Chris Wilder hails his team’s focus in the face of promotion pressure
Chris Wilder, the Sheffield United manager, hailed his players' focus after watching them score a crucial victory in the race for automatic promotion from the Championship.
Two goals from David McGoldrick and an Enda Stevens effort on the stroke of half-time moved Wilder's team to within three points of leaders Norwich City with two matches remaining as they beat Hull City 3-0 at the KCOM Stadium.
But it was their performance, as much as the result and its potential implications, which pleased Wilder following a match he admitted had the potential to be "very awkward."
"Of course we've talked about the big picture," Wilder said, as second-placed United opened up a three point gap over Leeds in third. "We've sat down and discussed what it might mean with the lads. But we've also talked about what we need to do to get there and that's show heart, desire and attention to detail. I thought they produced all of that out there.
"Listen, they (Hull) might talk about not spending any money. But they've got a player out there in Kamil Grosicki who Robert Lewandowski, who plays with him for Poland, reckons is one of the best he's worked with. They got another, (Jarrod) Bowen who is worth £15m to £20m in my book and they've got Fraizer Campbell who has played in the Premier League.
"On top of that, they've got one of the best home record in the division and a manager who won't have wanted us to come here and do that. So I'm made up for the lads but now we've got to drive it on and keep on doing it."
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Nigel Adkins, Wilder's predecessor at Bramall Lane, had beaten United twice since parting company with the visitors three years ago. But his hopes of denting their top two chances were effectively over midway through the first-half when McGoldrick scored his second of the afternoon. The centre-forward, who had earlier opened the scoring from John Fleck's corner, unleashed an unstoppable long-range shot which left City's George Long grasping at thin air. It was a fitting way to reach his century of league goals.
The result means United enter this weekend's game against Ipswich Town searching for their third straight win after beating Nottingham Forest, another of McGoldrick's former clubs, on Good Friday.
"We needed another big performance and that's what we got," Wilder said.
"I'm not looking at what anyone else is doing. It's all about taking care of business in terms of what we do here."