Sheffield United: Why Jamal Blackman says the Blades still believe in their quest for the Championship play-offs

Jamal Blackman - Simon Bellis/Sportimage
Jamal Blackman - Simon Bellis/Sportimage
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Jamal Blackman, the Sheffield United goalkeeper, insists that his teammates still believe they can gatecrash the Championship play-offs - fuelled by the motivation of being written off.

Blackman has been an integral part of the Blades side that has performed well above most expectations this season, after storming to the League One title last term.

After briefly sitting top of the league, they have remained in promotion contention all season and currently sit ninth, three points behind sixth-placed Millwall, with three games of the regular season to go.

Perhaps crucially, many of their top-six rivals have to play each other in the run-in while United still have to face eighth-placed Preston and Bristol City, who are 11th, after they travel to relegation-threatened Birmingham City this weekend.

And Blackman, who laughed off manager Chris Wilder’s suggestions that he may have to buy his own beers at their supporters club player of the year award night on Saturday evening after he was critical of his side’s defending in their 1-1 draw at home to Millwall, revealed: “We’ve still done well and had a great season so far, but it’s not over yet and we want to push right to the end of it.

“The fans know, and we as players know, that we’re still in with a chance of making the play-offs.”

“The gaffer himself is never happy,” the on-loan Chelsea stopper added, “and that’s an attitude that pushes everyone on. He thinks we can all do more, and is always looking for stuff to improve upon.

“We’re still new to the league but we’re still showing our quality in games, and doing things that people didn’t think we could do.”

Mark Duffy swept the board at the supporters’ player of the year awards night, while John Fleck was named players’ player of the year and David Brooks picked up the young player of the year gong.