Sheffield United: ‘We should be a top six club’ says in-form striker ahead of crunch Championship clash with Birmingham City

Leon Clarke was on target against Millwall last weekend: Simon Bellis/Sportimage
Leon Clarke was on target against Millwall last weekend: Simon Bellis/Sportimage
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Leon Clarke admits Sheffield United will only have themselves to blame if they fail to qualify for the Championship play-offs.

But the centre-forward, whose goals have helped propel Chris Wilder’s side to within three points of the top six, believes his team mate’s fearless approach means they warrant a shot at promotion.

“We feel as a group, with the way we’ve played, that we deserve to be in there,” Clarke said. “But if we don’t quite make it, then we have nobody to blame but ourselves. It will be nobody’s fault but our own.”

Clarke, aged 33, has scored 18 times this season and earlier this week was named in the PFA’s Championship team of the year. United face Preston North End and Bristol City following tomorrow’s game against Birmingham City.

Speaking ahead of the visit to St Andrews, where the hosts are battling against relegation, Clarke said: “I think, personally, we have to win all three. If we do that, I think we will give ourselves a fantastic chance. We might not have to worry about other teams then.”

“No game is going to be easy,” he added. “No team we play is going to give points to us. Birmingham will be fighting for their lives. Preston and Bristol City are still going for it like us.”

Leon Clarke has been named in the PFA's Championship team of the year: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

Leon Clarke has been named in the PFA's Championship team of the year: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

United enter the match having taken four points from their last two outings; a hard-fought win over Middlesbrough before last weekend’s draw with Millwall.

Clarke said: “It would be amazing if we could get in the play-offs. We’ve got three games left and have to get as many points as we can. We’ve not converted chances in the last few games and there have been lapses at the back, from defenders and attackers. But we can put that right.”