Sheffield United forward Rhian Brewster believes his side can still achieve promotion back to the Premier League at the first time of asking, as he spoke to The Star.
The Blades have been in woeful form so far this season, going winless in their opening five league matches of the 2021/22 campaign and setting the tone for an underwhelming start to life back in the second tier.
Although their form did pick up after the first international break, inconsistency has been a major barrier in their quest to climb up the table into a more respectable position, even going winless in the last three as they now sit in 18th position.
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There may be little chance of the South Yorkshire outfit being involved in a relegation scrap considering the calibre of their manager and players and the fact they are a comfortable seven points above the relegation zone, but the gap between Slavisa Jokanovic’s men and second-placed Fulham is even wider with a whopping 19 points separating the two sides at this stage.
With just 17 games gone, this is a huge gulf between the two recently-relegated clubs and one the Blades are unlikely to make up considering the firepower the Cottagers have in attack, with the likes of Aleksandar Mitrovic, Harry Wilson, Neeskens Kebano and Bobby Decordova-Reid all in good form at this stage.
However, the reasonably small seven-point difference between United and sixth-placed side Queens Park Rangers will give the former great reason for optimism despite their underwhelming start to the campaign, and Brewster still has high hopes for his side going into their next set of fixtures.
Speaking to the Sheffield Star, he said: “Yes, of course (a promotion push can still be mounted).
“The Championship is a crazy league. If you go on a run, before you know it you’re back up at the top end of the table.
“For us, we’re near the bottom of it at the minute but if you pick up a few wins, three in a week, you’re right back up in the mix.
“Of course we’re going to keep pushing and I know the gaffer will want us to keep doing that as well.”
Considering the small gap between United and the play-offs and the strength of their team, a top-six finish should still be the expectation at Bramall Lane with the quality of players Jokanovic has at his disposal.
Their summer transfer window may have been underwhelming and quite frankly unacceptable considering their desperate need to recruit a couple of wingers, something that was painfully obvious as soon as the Serbian took charge, but they have the calibre of players in their squad needed to push for promotion once again.
It was understandable that they needed fresh blood considering how desperately poor their season in the Premier League was last term, but even with the likes of the talented Morgan Gibbs-White and Robin Olsen coming in, they have failed to gain any form of consistency.
Luckily for them, many other second-tier sides have experienced the same and is of the reasons why they are still promotion candidates despite only winning 19 points from 17 league games.
But they cannot afford to sit back any longer and rely on other teams. They have to take the initiative if they want to drag themselves into the promotion mix before the next calendar year comes around, something that should be their aim considering the firepower they have up top.