Manager Chris Wilder reveals Sheffield United's priorities have changed

Chris Wilder and his coaching staff have taken a decision to treat Sheffield United’s FA Cup matches with the same importance as those in the Premier League, believing that granting them equal status will help rather than hinder their survival prospects.

Thursday, 11th February 2021, 5:30 pm

United reached the quarter-finals of this season’s competition last night, when a second-half penalty from Billy Sharp saw them edge past Bristol City 1-0 at Bramall Lane.

Despite their progress, Wilder acknowledges he will come under increasing pressure to prioritise United’s top-flight fixtures if they begin eating away at the 12 point gap separating them from safety.

However, highlighting the dramatic improvement in United’s results since beating Bristol Rovers in the third round, Wilder insisted it would be a mistake to prioritise one form of football over another, saying: “We haven’t won enough games of football so there’s no prioritising now. We just want to win, full stop.

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Sheffield United's manager Chris Wilder is treating Premier League and FA Cup games equally: LINDSEY PARNABY/AFP via Getty Images

“When you go deep (into the cup) of course you want to put out a team to go through. So that’s what we’ll be doing. We have also used this competition to go out and get better results in the league and that’s what we want to do again.”

After losing 15 and drawing two of their first 17 PL outings this term, United travel to West Ham on Monday having won six out of nine in all competitions. That run includes victories over Newcastle, Manchester United and West Bromwich Albion, with Manchester City and Chelsea only defeating Wilder’s men by a single goal.

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Billy Sharp scores Sheffield United's goal against Bristol City: Andrew Yates/Sportimage