Sheffield United make a big change to their Championship ambitions

Team huddle during the Championship match at the City Ground Stadium, Nottingham. Picture date 30th September 2017. Simon Bellis/Sportimage

John Lundstram admitted consolidating Championship status is no longer Sheffield United’s main target this season following their impressive start to the new season.

Chris Wilder’s side enter the international break third in the table, only three points behind leaders Cardiff City, despite being beaten by Nottingham Forest last weekend.

John Lundstram of Sheffield Utd celebrates his goal during the Championship match at the City Ground Stadium, Nottingham. Simon Bellis/Sportimage

Lundstram, who moved to Bramall Lane earlier this summer following United’s League One title triumph, said: “We’re not stopping here, we really believe we can go and carry this form on.

“We’ve shown we’re here in the division and we’ve shown that we’re not just happy being a mid-table club. We want to push on and move forward. Everyone knows how together we are and that, I think shines through.”

Lundstram, previously of Oxford, appeared to have set United on course for their third straight win when he opened the scoring at the City Ground.

But Forest, whose manager Mark Warburton paid tribute to the quality of the visitors’ play, struck back through Jason Cummings and Kieran Dowell. United, who saw Mark Duffy go close during the closing stages before Cameron Carter-Vickers headed against a post, return to action when Ipswich Town visit South Yorkshire next weekend. But Lundstram’s fellow midfielder Paul Coutts will miss the fixture after collecting his fifth caution of the campaign.

“We have no fear and that’s the manager’s philosophy,” Lundstram continued. “That’s down to him and massive credit to him for that. We usually reap the rewards but, for some reason out there, the result just didn’t come today. But I thought the boys were brilliant. This is Forest, they’re no small club are they? In my opinion, we dominated pretty much all of the game.”

We can take courage from that moving forward, you can see the energy levels are really good. If you’d have offered us this position, at this time, then I think most fans would have taken it. The challenge now is to make sure our form continues after the break.”

Wilder, meanwhile, confirmed centre-forward Ched Evans is set to undergo an operation on his injured ankle later this week following Clayton Donaldson’s return to fitness. Evans had been playing through the pain barrier after confirming he required what Wilder described as a “clean-up procedure” a fortnight ago.

“That’s why Ched wasn’t involved out there,” he said. “With a couple of lads coming back, he can go and get that sorted out now. Hopefully he won’t be too long.”

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