Wilder happy to have Blades fighting on two fronts
Chris Wilder says Sheffield United will be going "full tilt" in both the Premier League and FA Cup as they look to end a memorable season in style.
The Blades have performed far above expectations this term, defying all the pre-season predictions that they would struggle to stay in the Premier League following their promotion from the Championship.
Instead of battling at the bottom, the South Yorkshire outfit have their sights set on European qualification and head into Saturday’s meeting with Norwich in eighth place, two points adrift of fifth-placed Manchester United.
Fifth could be good enough to qualify for the Champions League this season if Manchester City’s European ban is upheld upon appeal and Wilder is eager for his team to aim high when it comes to their remaining 10 matches.
The Premier League has taken priority this season for United but they have also managed to progress into the latter stages of the FA Cup.
Despite chopping and changing his side in the early rounds of the competition, Wilder’s men booked a spot in the quarter-finals with Tuesday’s extra-time win over Reading.
Into the final 8 of the FA Cup 🙌
All the highlights from tonight’s 2-1 win over Reading at the Madejski 🏆 pic.twitter.com/3oXflYGEUX
— Sheffield United (@SheffieldUnited) March 3, 2020
They can now look forward to a last-eight showdown with Arsenal at Bramall Lane and are just three wins away from landing their first major trophy since the 1925 FA Cup.
Having previously put the cup on the backburner, Wilder says United will go all out in both the Premier League and FA Cup for the remainder of the season.
When asked if he would be prioritising one competition over another, Wilder replied: “No, it’s full tilt at both, 100 per cent and on to the next game.
“It has to be that way. It’s all to play for. There’s 11 league games and hopefully a little bit longer in the FA Cup would be fantastic for the football club.”
Having been paired with Arsenal in Thursday’s draw, Wilder was asked whether he felt confident of reaching the semi-finals having already beaten the Gunners at home this season.
The ex-Oxford United and Northampton boss doesn’t feel the league meetings between the two clubs will have a bearing on the outcome of the quarter-final tie.
“It’s a great game for us to look forward to. They have picked up since Mikel (Arteta) went in and I know we had a great result, and a great night, against them earlier in the season but that counts for nothing,” he added.