Chris Wilder has accepted his decision to write-off Sheffield United’s promotion hopes was premature after insisting the play-offs remain a realistic target.
Two weeks after dismissing their hopes of a top six finish following a shock defeat at Hull City, Wilder is convinced his team can still mount a serious challenge for promotion between now and the end of the Championship season.
United enter today’s game at Ipswich Town ninth in the table, only three points behind sixth-placed Middlesbrough, despite being beaten by Fulham on Tuesday night.
Although he accepted Slavisa Jokanovic’s side deserved to win that game, Wilder said: “One hundred per cent it’s all to play for. We needed a lot of things to go for us to win the last game of football.
“Goals changes games and that’s what happened down there. To be fair, I don’t think our goalkeeper had a huge amount of saves to make.”
Wilder’s volte-face confirms his outburst following United’s 1-0 loss to City was part emotional reaction and part an attempt to inspire a reaction from his squad.
“I actually think we can go into the next match with our heads held high,” the United manager, whose players beat Reading en route to Craven Cottage, said. “They (Fulham) are a top side with real momentum at the moment and yet, like I say, I still thought we created the best chances of the game. The difference was we didn’t take the ones we made, at an important stage, and they did. That’s where we have got to improve.”