Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder believes the Blades can achieve something special this season after climbing to fifth in the Premier League table by coming from behind to beat Bournemouth 2-1 at Bramall Lane.
In their first top-flight campaign for 13 years, Wilder’s men are looking down on the likes of Tottenham, Manchester United and Arsenal and are within two points of fourth-placed Chelsea in the hunt for the Champions League.
“We have 39 points which is fabulous. We want to achieve something this season,” said Wilder.
“We won’t take our foot off the gas. Our performance was one of belief and drive. There was a real drive about the players after going a goal down.”
At the other end of the table, defeat leaves Bournemouth still just two points above the bottom three, having played a game more than most of their rivals to avoid relegation.
“When we get the lead in these types of games we need to defend better,” said Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe after seeing his side take a deserved first half lead through Callum Wilson.
“It takes all the polish off. There were a lot of good bits but not enough to get a result today and we needed it away from home.”
The only game in the Premier League on Sunday went ahead after a pitch inspection as the effects of storm Ciara, which saw Manchester City’s clash with West Ham postponed, were not enough to convince referee Jon Moss to abandon the match.
Both sides now have two weeks off due to the winter break introduced to the Premier League for the first time this season, but Wilder would prefer to keep building on his side’s momentum.
“I’m a bit controversial in that I’d want to carry on,” added Wilder.
“I’d like it if we had a game next week, but we’ll come back refreshed for the next part of the season.”
Early on it was the hosts who were blown off course as the Cherries looked to build on back-to-back wins that had hauled them out of the bottom three.
Wilson struck his second goal in three games with an emphatic finish on the rebound after Harry Wilson’s initial effort was blocked.
United responded just in time to go in level at the break when captain Billy Sharp was quickest to react as the ball flashed across the Bournemouth goal after the visitors failed to clear a corner.
A day after Jordan Pickford’s blunder nearly cost Everton all three points Dean Henderson did no harm to his chances in his challenge to be England’s number one at Euro 2020.
Henderson produced a brilliant save from Ryan Fraser to prevent Bournemouth retaking the lead 20 minutes from time.
That save proved crucial when six minutes from time Lys Mousset’s cross was controlled and finished by substitute John Lundstram on a trademark run into the box to keep United’s dreams of European football next season very much alive.