There is one statistic that truly emphasises the amazing rise of Sheffield United under manager Chris Wilder.
In fact it is a record that stretches back more than two years before Wilder’s arrival as boss at Bramall Lane. Yet it is under his stewardship that the Blades have really reaped the rewards.
Since January 2014, United have not lost a league match when leading at half-time. In their past 88 games that takes them through League One, the Championship and now the Premier League, they have not been defeated when ahead going into the second half.
Not just that, but the stats are heavily backed in their favour to go onto secure victory. Of those 88 matches, the Blades have eventually won 75 – drawing the other 13.
The last time they suffered defeat when up at the break was on 11 January 2014. In the third tier of English football at the time, a second minute Conor Coady goal had put them ahead at Notts County. They went onto lose 2-1.
Nigel Clough was in charge then and for the following season before being sacked in May 2015. Even during the disappointing 2015/16 campaign under Nigel Adkins, United were not defeated when leading at half-time.
The problem that term is that they didn’t often go ahead in the first half, with an 11th place finish their worst since 1982/83.
How Wilder made the statistic count at Sheffield United
Clough is remembered fondly at Bramall Lane; Adkins not so much. Yet it is under Wilder that this impressive stat – that is moving ever closer to six years – has truly flourished.
Since the 52-year-old took charge in May 2016, the Blades have secured two promotions to return to the top flight for the first time in 12 years.
Whatever level they have played under with Wilder at the helm they are tough to beat. Last season they had the joint best defensive record in the Championship. After nine games they currently have the joint best defence in the Premier League.