The one thing Sheffield United boss isn't concerned about ahead of AFC Bournemouth clash
Slavisa Jokanovic, the Sheffield United manager, has explained why he is not alarmed by the 10 point gap separating his team from the Championship’s automatic promotion positions.
United travel to AFC Bournemouth tomorrow knowing a defeat could see them fall even further off the top two pace, with Scott Parker’s second-placed side still unbeaten in the division this term and leaders West Bromwich Albion facing Stoke City tonight.
With his club waiting until the end of the recent transfer window before drafting in some of the new signings Jokanovic felt were required to help his squad quickly recover from the disappointment of last season’s relegation from the Premier League, United’s disappointing results at the beginning of the campaign effectively saw them hand some of their biggest rivals a double figure head start.
Acknowledging Bournemouth will present a “completely different” kind of test to Middlesbrough, who ended United’s five match unbeaten run in the competition on Tuesday, Jokanovic said: “They have started better. The big question is, who finishes better? We can not give up and they can not relax.”
Jokanovic will draw on his experiences at Fulham to convince his his squad they can claw back the deficit. Three years ago, when he was still in charge at Craven Cottage, the Londoners found themselves 16 points behind Chris Wilder’s United ahead of a November visit to Bramall Lane. After beating their second-placed opponents 5-4, Fulham eventually finished third and went up via the play-offs. United, who reached the top-flight a season later, came 10th.
“We want to be fighting for the targets we set ourselves and we can do that,” Jokanovic said.