Sheffield United manager Nigel Adkins believes his team are on course to mount a serious challenge for promotion during the second half of the season.
Adkins issued the prediction following yesterday’s 3-1 victory over Bradford City which, given the state of play in the League One table, represents an ominous statement of intent.
Describing United’s performance after the interval as the “perhaps the best” of his six-month reign, Adkins said: “I’ve talked about the frustration that’s maybe at this football club because it’s been in the division far too long.
“I’ve maintained all along that we just need to stay in the race until January and then we can look to kick on.
“Yes, we’d have liked a few more results along the way, but we are in the race. You can see where we are going and what we are building.
“There were some really positive signs out there. We were fit, we were strong and we can deal with set-plays, which are a massive part of the game. We can certainly improve, but we are also a big side, which is what we’ve always wanted to be.”
United, now eighth ahead of Saturday’s match against sixth-placed Peterborough, moved to within a point of Graham Westley’s side after condemning City to only their fourth away defeat away since August. Billy Sharp, David Edgar and Conor Sammon were all on target.
Adkins confirmed Matt Done had been withdrawn due to a hamstring problem.
“For 25 minutes or so in the second half, there was a real excellence about the players,” Adkins said. “There was good passing, opportunities being created and a great atmosphere. Everyone, the crowd included, was united together and that’s everything we’ve been striving for.”