Chris Wilder has warned Sheffield United’s League One rivals the best is yet to come from his team, despite seeing them win 14 of their last 19 games.
But Wilder, whose employers last night secured the future of highly-rated midfielder Regan Slater, admitted the race for Championship football is still far from over ahead of Saturday’s match against Northampton Town.
Second-placed United moved to within a point of leaders Scunthorpe when they beat Oldham Athletic three days ago and Wilder said: “We’d like to think the table is taking shape but there’s a long way to go. We want to get as high as we can as early as we can and stay there. This is a really important time for us now, to try and cement our position up there and show that consistency we have of late. We’ve set a high bar and it’s important we keep striving to reach those levels.”
Wilder, who guided Northampton to the League Two title before taking charge of United in May, has outlined plans to strengthen his squad during next month’s transfer window while talks with Wolverhampton Wanderers aimed at retaining Ethan Ebanks-Landell’s services are continuing to take place. Although the defender’s parent club has yet to confirm if he will be allowed to complete his season long loan, United are hopeful that Ebanks-Landell will not be recalled to Molineux. Another loanee, Burnley’s Daniel Lafferty, appears certain to remain in South Yorkshire.
“We’re still a relatively new group,” Wilder added. “I still think there’s more to come from us but we are showing good signs so far. That’s got to continue. But there’s producing performances and there’s achieving stuff. I don’t want us just to produce performances, I want us to be talked about because we are on the right track to achieve something.”
Slater, meanwhile, has committed his future to United until 2020 after agreeing a two year professional contract with the option of a third. The 17-year-old’s deal will begin when his scholarship ends in 2018.
Wilder, who handed Slater his professional debut earlier this season, said: “Regan is progressing well but signing his first professional contract is just the start for him. There’s a lot of hard work to come but it would be great to see another local lad earning a shot at playing senior football for Sheffield United.”