Sheffield United have discovered a new weapon in the battle for Premier League survival
Sheffield United must use the momentum they have gathered en route to the FA Cup quarter-finals as a weapon in the club’s battle for Premier League survival, manager Chris Wilder will tell his players ahead of Monday’s visit to West Ham.
The match at the London Stadium marks the start of a season-defining sequence of fixtures for United, who are bottom of the table and 12 points adrift of safety with only 15 games remaining.
Five days after facing David Moyes’ side, Wilder’s square are scheduled to return to the capital for a meeting with fellow strugglers Fulham. Anything other than a win at Craven Cottage could effectively spell the end of United’s stay in the top-flight.
After losing 15 of their first 18 outings in all competitions this term, United have now won six of their last nine following Wednesday night’s fifth round victory over Bristol City.
Noting how his squad’s results have improved since they began their journey into the last eight by beating City’s neighbours Bristol Rovers five weeks ago, Wilder said: “It’s important we use what we’re doing in knockout football into the league. We’ve got to use what we’re doing, the confidence we can take from that, and put it into the league because we’ve got some really tough and challenging games coming up.
“If you win a game of football, it breeds belief. It doesn’t matter who it’s against. We’ve got to use the belief this run has given us in a positive way and put it to good use.”
Last month’s triumph at The Memorial Stadium was United’s first since July. Speaking at the time, Wilder admitted it felt as if “a weight” had been lifted from their shoulders. After overcoming Plymouth Argyle in the next phase of the tournament, a second-half penalty from Billy Sharp sealed United’s progress when City made the journey to South Yorkshire this week.
Looking ahead to the clash with West Ham, Wilder said: “The only thing we want to do now is keep on winning, keep on getting results. It doesn’t matter what those are in or who they are against, because they all help the mindset and give the lads more conviction.”