As Sheffield United prepare for a huge game at Aston Villa on Friday night, Chris Wilder can look back on the season so far with sheer pride and optimism for the future.
The 51-year-old has been a resounding success at Bramall Lane since joining his boyhood club from Northampton Town in 2016, taking the Yorkshire club from the depths of League One to fighting for promotion to Premier League in just under three years at the helm.
Of course, there is still a long way to go this season, and the fight for promotion to the top flight is still so tight – but after winning five of their last seven league games, you have got to fancy the Blades’ chances for sure.
Here, we take a look at how just how much they have improved from last season, in such a short space of time…
Last season was a very impressive one from a Sheffield United perspective – after gaining promotion from League One the season before, they certainly carried the momentum forward with them, as they finished in a very respectable 10th position, six points off the play-offs.
But the Blades have gone from strength to strength in the last year, highlighting what a fantastic job Wilder has done at the helm of the Blades. They have won 16 out of 30 games this season, which is two more than they had won at this point last season.
Perhaps a more pleasing aspect is the fact that they have lost four less games than they had done at this point last season, and ultimately, they have picked up eight more points than this point last term too.
The most significant change from the Blades compared this season and last, is their goal difference. The likes of Billy Sharp and David McGoldrick have been exceptional in the final third this season, whilst the defensive trio of Jack O’Connell. John Egan and Chris Basham have contributed to a side that are 13 goals better off than this point last campaign.
It’s going to be a tough test against Villa on Friday night, but with the job that Wilder has done at Sheffield United thus far, nobody would put it past United to pick up an invaluable win at Villa Park.