Belfast Telegraph

Wilder insists Sheffield United not in the top flight to enjoy themselves

Brighton & Hove Albion 0 Sheffield United 1

Promising form: Chris Wilder
Promising form: Chris Wilder

By Duncan Bech

Chris Wilder insists Sheffield United are determined to continue defying expectations in the Premier League as their away record faces its toughest examination yet.

Brighton were dispatched 1-0 at the Amex Stadium as the Blades secured a third successive victory, lifting them into fifth place overnight and forcing Wilder to field questions about Europe.

The result also equalled the Premier League away record for a newly promoted team of nine games unbeaten.

Watford visit Bramall Lane on Boxing Day followed by trips to Manchester City and Liverpool, leaving Wilder defiant even if he knows the size of the task ahead.

"Seen the fixture list?! It's brilliant for the club but we don't just want us being in the Premier League to be an event. We're here and we've earned the right to get into the division," the United boss said.

"Before the Brighton game I said to the players 'it's the Premier League, it's all going to be tough', but it's going to be tough for them as well. And we made it that way.

"The away record has been fabulous and now it's onto Watford on Boxing Day."

The Blades are one point off the top four, but Wilder dismisses any discussion of European qualification out of hand.

"It is ludicrous because the season isn't over after 18 games. It's accumulation of points, on to the next one, can we keep it going?" he added.

The promising form Brighton have shown recently ended but boss Graham Potter views the result as a wake-up call.

"It didn't take long for the pressure to come - about 20 minutes - and that's something for us to deal with as a team," Potter said.

"If we think we're just going to turn up at the Amex and start passing through teams at this level, that's a concern because it doesn't happen that easily."

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