Sheffield United boss Neil Redfearn makes big claim about team’s season in Women’s Championship
Sheffield United have ‘overachieved’ in the Women’s Championship this season, according to Blades boss Neil Redfearn.
United, who are one of five part-time clubs in the 12-team league, currently sit seventh in the table, four points off Durham in third place.
Redfearn’s side finished fourth last term and fifth in their first campaign in the ever-improving second tier.
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"In a predominantly full-time league, for me I think we have overachieved,” he said.
"I look back from the summer with all the upheaval we had with 15 players going out and new players coming in, since the turn of the year the girls have done really well.
"We have beat some good sides.”
The Blades saw their seven-game unbeaten streak, which included three wins on the bounce, come to an end with last weekend’s 4-1 defeat against Sunderland.
They host second-placed Bristol City on Saturday, who thrashed them 5-1 in the reverse fixture in October.
United have yet to beat any of the three other sides they will play before the end of the season – Lewes, league leaders Liverpool and Crystal Palace.
"You are looking to put your progress up against it,” Redfearn said of the challenge ahead.
"You can’t guarantee anything in football but what you can do is measure what we have done and how far we have come, that’s part of the bigger picture to take us to the next level.
"They (Liverpool and Bristol City) are the benchmark for the level. If we want to get ourselves in the top flight that’s the type of football we have got to be competing against.
”It’s just a case of looking to get as many points as we can.”
Only Liverpool and Bristol City have lost fewer games in the Women’s Championship than Sheffield United in the current campaign.
Former Leeds United, Rotherham and Doncaster Rovers Belles head coach Readfearn added: “Hand on heart, looking at how the league has improved and the amount of money that’s gone into it, I thought it might be tougher.
"If there’s only two sides that have lost less games than us, we are not far off.
"If we could convert a few draws into wins we are not far off. I have been really pleased with the girls.”