Sheffield United stand-in skipper John Brayford said the Blades sent out a warning to their play-off rivals with an empahtic 4-0 win over Scunthorpe United at Bramall Lane.
Goals from Jason Holt, Jamie Murphy and a pair of penalties from Jose Baxter secured an impressive victory and opened up a six-point gap between the Blades and seventh-placed Barnsley, with the South Yorkshire rivals set for a showdown at Oakwell a week on Saturday.
Brayford, playing in the centre of defence and given the captain’s armband in the absence of regular skipper Michael Doyle, said: “It was our game in hand and I think teams would have been looking at our results, hoping that we could slip up.
“I think we just put a marker down, saying we aren’t the ones going to be slipping up here and we’ll leave that to somebody else really.”
Boss Nigel Clough added: “It was the best we’ve been for two or three months. It’s been coming; we’ve played well in patches, in spells, and as important the three points is, it’s more important for our confidence as a team.”