Sheffield United’s players are not overwhelmed by the thought of replacing Wolves at the top of the Championship table, Chris Wilder has admitted, as his team prepares for tomorrow evening’s visit to Leeds.
United enter the match at Elland Road knowing a win would see them move a point above Nuno Espírito Santo’s side ahead of Saturday’s round of games.
Although that would increase the limelight on Wilder’s squad following its impressive start to the new season, the 50-year-old insisted last term’s League One title triumph proved they can cope with pressure situations.
“We’re not talking about going top,” Wilder said. “But we won’t fear it if we do. We won’t go ‘wooah, what are we doing?’ “That didn’t happen last year and it won’t now. If three points takes us top of the division, that is what it is. It means we’ve won more games at this stage of the season than anybody else. But that’s all it means.”
Some folk will scoff at Wilder’s claim that gaining promotion from the third tier is comparable, in psychological terms at least, to chasing Premier League football. But, citing United’s status as “the biggest name in the competition”, he remains convinced they were under greater scrutiny then than now.
Although results so far this season have led to comparisons between United and Huddersfield Town, who reached the top-flight via the play-offs earlier this year, Wilder said: “There’s always, whatever happens in football, stats that come up and comparisons.
“We are just going along in our own way and trying to be as good as we can at what we do. That’s our approach; can we get better? Can we up our standards?”