Sheffield United: Chris Wilder says his players want to prove passion, desire and skill, not the ability to sign big cheques, are the most important things in football

Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder (centre)
Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder (centre)

Chris Wilder, the Sheffield United manager, has revealed a desire to smash the established order is fuelling his team's push for Premier League football.

United are preparing for Saturday's visit to Derby County on top of the Championship table after winning eight of their opening 12 games.

Despite out-performing all of the division's big-spending clubs since returning to action in August, captain Billy Sharp and midfielder Mark Duffy have both highlighted how many commentators still refuse to mention United in the promotion conversation, preferring to push the claims of Leeds, Middlesbrough and West Bromwich Albion instead.

Now Wilder has sounded a warning to those who believe deep pockets rather than desire will inevitably decide the final placings.

"Sometimes, you have to step back and look at the competition in the division," he said. "But then you think 'let's go and win a game of football regardless of what they've got and we haven't. 

"You take that out of the equation altogether and go out there to try and win a game of football. That's what we do."

"The expectation comes from within you as a person," Wilder added. "Not from the outside. Our lads have got that determination to show what they can do.

“And, the important thing from my point of view, is that they've got that determination to do it together, for the club and the supporters. But, make no mistake, they've got ability as well. Others can choose to dress it up how they want."

After also mounting a top six challenge last season before eventually falling away, Wilder believes United proved an important point when they beat Yorkshire rivals Hull City before the international break. That win, their fourth in succession, came only three days after his side became the first team to beat Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park in 18 matches.

"When we came into the division, the talk was can we win Saturday and then Tuesday or Wednesday," Wilder said. "Then, after that, can we win on the Saturday as well. 

"Any team that can do that is strong and powerful because of the intensity of the division. We're on a good run. 

"That's important, to get them going. You can't win a few and then lose a few. That's something we looked at last year, knowing we have to do it better now."