Why Sheffield United's trip to Bournemouth is a good test of their promotion credentials

Slavisa Jokanović admits this weekend’s trip to Bournemouth will be a good barometer of Sheffield United’s promotion credentials, after warning there is still a long way to go in the race to reach the Premier League.

Thursday, 30th September 2021, 2:37 pm

The Blades will make the long trip to the coast 13th in the Championship table, with three wins and four defeats in their 10 games to date.

The Cherries, meanwhile, are second – behind leaders West Brom only on goal difference – and are yet to taste defeat in the Championship since Scott Parker, Jokanović’s former colleague at Fulham, took over in the summer.

The Blades lost 2-0 at Middlesbrough on Tuesday and Jokanović is expecting “a completely different challenge, a different team and style of play.”

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“We will try to analyse [Bournemouth’s] strengths and weaknesses,” the Serb added.

“They are without any defeats but we want to be fighting with them and be at their level, fighting for similar targets. It’s a great chance for us to check where we are, to try and push for three points.”

Bournemouth fell short of promotion last season after losing in their play-off semi-final on aggregate to eventual winners Brentford, and appointed Parker in the summer in a bid to go one better this time around.

“They have started better than us, the question is who will finish better,” Jokanović, a Championship promotion winner at Fulham and Watford in the past, added.

Slavisa Jokanovic, the Sheffield United manager: Simon Bellis / Sportimage

“We cannot give up, they cannot relax after a good start either. A lot of the space is ahead of both teams.”