Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder challenged his team on Thursday to catch up with their rivals for a Premier League top-four spot as they approach the final stretch of the season.
The Blades are sixth with 39 points from 26 games, two points behind fourth-placed Chelsea and one adrift of Tottenham Hotspur.
Qualifying for the Champions League would be a significant achievement for a side who won promotion to the top flight last year but Wilder, whose initial target was Premier League survival, said there was still work to do with 12 games left.
“Of course, people will talk about looking up and I want us to look up, I want us to go and reel in the teams above us,” Wilder told a news conference ahead of Saturday’s league match against Brighton & Hove Albion.
“I can’t go into a team meeting in half an hour and just say ‘Let’s be careful of staying out the bottom three’. It’s an extremely competitive league and we’re proud of our position at the moment.
“We’ve worked extremely hard to get into that position. We’ve done a lot of things right and we’re going to have to do a lot of things right between now and the end of the season. We need the bounce of the ball, to stay clear of big injuries.”