Fulham manager Marco Silva has backed Sheffield United to make a push for a Championship play-off place in the second half of this season.
Silva’s Fulham side are set to host the Blades at Craven Cottage on Monday night, in what looks set to be a tricky task for the club from the capital.
With both sides having been relegated from the Premier League at the end of last season, Sheffield United initially endured a challenging start to life back in the Championship.
However, the Yorkshire club have now claimed ten points from their last four games, which includes back to back wins since the appointment of Paul Heckingbottom as manager.
That run has seen the Blades climb to 13th in the Championship table, six points adrift of the play-off places.
Now it seems as though Silva is confident that Sheffield United could overturn that deficit to break into the play-off places, in the coming weeks and months.
Giving his verdict on Heckingbottom’s side ahead of Monday’s game, the Fulham boss was quoted by The Sheffield Star as saying: “It’s a very difficult game, no doubt. Not just because they have shown good form in the last few games and they’ve achieved good results, which will definitely have boosted their confidence.
“But one of your [media] colleagues asked me some weeks ago about the contenders to be promoted, contenders to be in the Play-Offs.
“And of course there are other teams at the top of the league, six-seven teams at the top of the league, and I said that in my opinion there will be one or two more around, and one of those teams that has picked up is Sheffield United.
“I know the quality they have, the individual quality they have, players that know this competition very well, and the Premier League as well.
“I’ve played against some of them in the Premier League and I know their quality, I don’t have doubts about it.
“And of course, if they are achieving good results, their confidence is in a different level now, and if they are more confident then they are more difficult to beat.
“It will be a tough game for us, but I am 100 per cent sure that it will be really tough for them as well.”
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For their part, Fulham will go into the game top of the Championship table, although they will be looking to end a run of four consecutive draws.
It does feel hard to argue with Silva’s assessment of Sheffield United here.
When you look at the quality of players in that Blades squad, you would certainly expect them to be making a push for promotion this season.
After a slow start to the season, that is something that they are now starting to look like doing, and there is plenty of time for them to get the points they need to overhaul the deficit to the play-off places.
This therefore, is not going to be an easy game for Silva’s Fulham on Monday, and that should make for a very interesting watch between the two.