Blades No.2 Alan Knill insists Sheffield United’s Premier League dream remains very much alive despite admitting boss Chris Wilder was right to read his players the riot act.
United’s players responded in fine style to beat Reading on Tuesday night and move back into the play-off places, after a below-par performance at Hull in the previous game saw them lose 1-0.
That defeat prompted Wilder to write off United’s chances of finishing in the top six of the Championship this season but Knill, speaking after Billy Sharp’s brace and a Mark Duffy stunner put Reading to the sword, admitted: “That’s what we’re all about.
“The intensity was there and when we’re full-on like that, we know we’ve got some very good players out there. No, the play-offs aren’t over. But we’ve got to keep those levels now because every game is a big one.
“It had to be said [Wilder’s comments] because people need to know when they’ve slipped below their usual standards. That wasn’t us at Hull and, in fairness, the players set their own standards. They’ve done that all the way through.”
Goalkeeper Jamal Blackman and top scorer Leon Clarke both came off with injury at Reading, while Welsh international David Brooks and Manchester United loanee James Wilson both missed out.
“James should be back for the weekend against Burton,” Knill confirmed. “David is still getting the spasms in his back, well it’s actually his shoulder I think, so that’s not good.
“But we’ll see how he is because we want him out there again. I wouldn’t say Jamal and Leon came off as a precaution because we wanted them out there.
“But hopefully we got them early enough and the early signs are that the injuries aren’t too serious.”