Sheffield United: Chris Wilder reveals his challenge to Blades players ahead of Easter weekend which saw his side leapfrog Leeds United
Chris Wilder revealed how he challenged his Sheffield United players to come up with a ‘big weekend’ before the race for promotion to the Premier League took another dramatic swing over the Easter period.
United went into Good Friday’s fixtures trailing automatic promotion rivals Leeds United by three points, before a 2-0 win over Nottingham Forest put the pressure on Marclo Bielsa’s men who then lost at home to lowly Wigan.
After closing the gap, Wilder's men extended it three days later with a comfortable 3-0 win at Hull City, before Leeds went down 2-0 at Brentford.
United, therefore, could be promoted as early as this Sunday if they beat Ipswich on Saturday evening, and Leeds fail to beat Aston Villa a day late.
And, speaking after a brace from David McGoldrick and Enda Stevens’ header helped United return from East Yorkshire with a vital three points, Wilder said: "We've not taken any short-cuts and we needed a big weekend.
"Our preparation was good. To win games at the top end of the Championship you've got to tick a lot of boxes, and we ticked a lot of boxes.
"The position speaks for itself - 85 points with two games to go.
"We've just to get our heads down and recover well. We’ve just got to make sure we prepare in the right way.
"We need to focus and make sure we take the opportunity on Saturday.
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"We are playing at a decent standard. We are in good nick."
United made a mockery of Hull’s unbeaten home record, which stretched back to last November, with three goals in the first 45 minutes – ensuring an unhappy reunion with their old club for Nigel Adkins and goalkeeper George Long.
"This was never going to be a straightforward game.
"We had to be bang at it and make sure we were very organised and prepared for what Hull City was going to chuck at us.
"We were positive in our approach and we've played well in all departments.
"We contained their best players and 3-0 is enough.
"We're delighted to come away with a win - and a big win."