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Oliver Norwood details key Sheffield United requirements in quest for promotion

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Sheffield United midfielder Oliver Norwood believes consistency will be key in determining whether his side gain promotion back to the Premier League at the first of asking at the end of the season, speaking to The Star.

The Blades were anything but consistent under ex-boss Slavisa Jokanovic during his short tenure at Bramall Lane, failing to win any of their opening five league games of the season, managing to pick up their form after the first international break of the campaign but failing to put together any form of unbeaten run.

This proved to be a huge obstacle in their quest to rise up the table and that cost Jokanovic his job in the end, with the Serbian seemingly not knowing his best formation or preferred personnel before his departure in the late stages of last month.

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But under new boss Heckingbottom, they now have a settled backline and formation, with the South Yorkshire outfit clearly looking more comfortable in a back three and consistency in the starting lineup has translated to consistency in their results.

Going unbeaten in their previous five matches and winning 13 points from a possible 15 during this run, they are now within touching distance of the top six and at this rate, will be certain to secure their place in the play-offs at the end of the campaign.

With half the season left to go though and the Blades remaining outside of the play-off zone at this stage, they can’t look too far ahead and this is another requirement United will have to meet as they try to sustain their promotion push, according to midfielder Norwood.

He said to the Sheffield Star: “There’s going to be swings and twists and turns.

“We have got to just try and be as consistent as we can be. There can’t be any hangover if you lose a game. It’s got to be a case of: ‘It’s gone, onto the next one.’

“It’s getting to that point now where three points are huge and we have got to try and pick up as many wins as we can and really kick on.

“The division is going to be exciting, and it always is. There’s always a team you don’t expect, there’s always a team that runs away with it, there’s always second or third fighting it out and there’s always a team that creeps in right at the end.

“It’s about consistency and we’ve got to just try and keep that going now. It’s one game at a time; you can’t look too far ahead and plan or you come unstuck.”

The Verdict:

Several teams across the Championship have been inconsistent throughout the 2021/22 campaign so far, even the likes of Fulham and AFC Bournemouth who previously looked as though they were going to run away with the automatic promotion spots.

This provides the Blades with a real chance to secure a top-six spot despite a poor start to their season and they will be hoping to extend their unbeaten run for as long as possible, even if they draw a few games.

Just a few points could make all the difference at the end of the season, so making sure they remain unbeaten and ensuring they bounce back from sticky spells of form quickly will be important.

The latter requirement is as much about the mental strength of the Blades’ players than it is the physical quality of their team, so they will need to be in the right mindset if they want to push on and keep picking up results, something Norwood has mentioned.

They certainly have the quality to sustain their push now, all they need is a couple of additions to give them a welcome boost as they approach the latter stages of this term.


A 21-year-old Reading FC fan and writer who graduated from the University for the Creative Arts in the summer with a degree in Journalism and Media Production. Other topics written about include politics, mental health and education.

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: Oliver Norwood details key Sheffield United requirements in quest for promotion

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