Sheffield United: 'Promotion isn't a banned word in the dressing room... but we don't really talk about it' admits Blades star George Baldock

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George Baldock, the Sheffield United defender, insists that the possibility of promotion to the Premier League this season is hardly discussed in the Bramall Lane bootroom.

Baldock made the admission ahead of Friday night's trip to Aston Villa, which will see Chris Wilder's men return to the summit of the division if they beat Dean Smith's side.

United travel to the second city third in the division, three points behind both second-placed Leeds United and league leaders Norwich City.

And, when asked in United's official programme whether promotion was a banned word, Baldock said: "Not really, no. But people would be surprised how little we talk about promotion in the changing room and that's not because we're not allowed to talk about.

"It's because we all know there are still so many hurdles to overcome, there will be twists and turns and some surprises too. Our job is far from done and we just try and focus on the next game.

"We play with a certain ethos and the club has a certain way under the gaffer. There is no point having a fear or being scared of the situation, we will never take a backwards step or lack belief and who knows where our front-foot approach can take us in the coming weeks.

George Baldock

George Baldock

"We can't go into games being fearful, we must be positive and go for the jugular. It hasn't served us badly until now, so there is no point changing what we do, we must keep our foot on the gas and put pressure on those around us."

Baldock, after reclaiming the right wing-back spot from Kieron Freeman, has established himself as a key man in Wilder's revolutionary system and is closing in on his 50th United appearance since joining from MK Dons in 2017.

"I'd have hoped to have made a few more appearances and I'm sure I would have but for two or three niggling injuries," he reflected.

"It's been a great 18 months for me since I joined, I've thoroughly enjoyed my time here and long may it continue.

"There have certainly been more highs than lows and, hopefully, if we keep doing a lot of the things right the biggest high anybody could wish for is just around the corner."