Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder has revealed his players are determined to seal promotion at Northampton Town this afternoon because “they care” about the football club.
The League One leaders travel to Sixfields knowing that a win will guarantee Championship football next season regardless of third-placed Fleetwood’s result against Oldham.
Wilder, who last night confirmed United have set their sights on the title rather than just a top two finish, said: “What you see on the team is a pitch of caring footballers who are prepared to do what they need to do. That’s something I needed to put out there for the supporters and they’ve recognised that.
“You know what happens when you get a group that is prepared to turn defeats into draws and draws into wins. A group that is prepared to play in crisis situations and also when they are flying. This club, these supporters, will back them 100 per cent.”
Despite selling-out their allocation, hundreds of United fans are still expected to make the journey south to watch the match from a hill overlooking the stadium.
Wilder, who led today’s opponents to the League Two title last season before taking charge of his boyhood club in May, said: “There’ll be supporters all over that ground if I know what Sheffield United supporters are like. I’m glad this game is coming up because the requests for tickets I’ve had are incredible. They’ll be all over the ground, behaving in the right way I’m sure, on the hill and all over the world tuning in.”
“We’ve been in this division far too long,” he added. “It’s not a League One club but it is where it is and we’ve not gone up in the past because we’ve not done enough things right. There has been some bad luck at times though. We have an opportunity now and we are desperate to take it. I know the supporters are too. We’ve got an opportunity to crack it and we’re desperate to do that.”
United enter the match six points clear of their closest challengers Bolton Wanderers with five fixtures remaining.
“There’s no difference in terms of our focus and that won’t change even if get to where we want to be,” Wilder said. “We’ll always be going out there to win and we’ve got an obligation to drive ourselves on until the last whistle in the last game of the season. We have to have that consistency and that mentality. We’ve had it all season and it won’t change now.”