Sheffield United must win all of their remaining 10 games to make sure of League One play-off qualification, John Brayford has warned, after revealing manager Nigel Adkins is ready to gamble in order to keep the club’s Championship dream alive.
United, who are reportedly monitoring Liverpool’s Ryan Kent as they plot another move into the emergency loan market, trail sixth-placed Bradford City by six points after thumping Oldham Athletic last weekend.
Adkins described his team’s performance against John Sheridan’s side as “exhilarating” and Brayford, whose early goal laid the foundation for a convincing 3-0 victory, claimed inspiring the Bramall Lane crowd could hold the key to their promotion chances.
“It’s about everyone pulling their weight, and we have got a formation now which seems to suit us,” Brayford said. “We are playing attacking football, and we have got to go and win 10 games out of 10.”
“It’s always nice to score, but what it did was get the crowd behind us and they stuck with us throughout the game.
“I know there have been times this season when they have shown their disappointment, and that’s fair enough because we have been inconsistent. But when they get behind us like that, it’s an unbelievable atmosphere to play in front of.”
Brayford, supporting Adkins’ decision to adopt a 3-5-2 formation, also claimed an assist as Billy Sharp scored his 16th goal of the season after Ryan Flynn’s fine solo effort. United, who included new signing Alex Baptiste in their starting eleven, have been linked with Kent after the young winger impressed during a spell on loan with Coventry City earlier this term.
Although failing to beat Millwall this weekend would not necessarily spell the end of their play-off hopes, Brayford said United must adopt the same positive attitude which proved Oldham’s undoing during the remaining 10 matches of the campaign.
“We put them under pressure from the first minute,” he said. “That’s been our aim every single game, but I know sometimes people see it from a different point of view.
“Games are running out and we have to take the season by the scruff of the neck, perform like we did on a consistent basis.
“All of the players want to play as high as we can, and there’s an opportunity in League One this year to get into the play-offs. Then it’s anybody’s game.”