Brentford manager Thomas Frank says that Sheffield United will secure automatic promotion to the Premier League this season.
Frank watched on as the Blades beat his team 2-0 despite spending the majority of the game with 10 men.
Oliver Norwood gave United the lead from the penalty spot on 26 minutes. Ten minutes later Gary Madine was shown a straight red card.
The Bees piled on the pressure and finished the game with 69 percent possession and 29 shots. Yet they couldn’t find the back of the net and David McGoldrick secured all three points with an 84th minute header.
Afterwards, Frank told the Sheffield Star why the Blades will finish in the top two:
“I say that for three reasons.
“One, they have an identity. Two, because they play in a way very few other teams do and three, because of the attitude and the mentality they showed out there.”
“There are games that can define a season. And for them, I think this can be one of those.”
Why United are so strong
Frank’s points are interesting ones and should come as music to the ears of the Bramall Lane faithful. Clubs are always hoping to have an “identity” and particularly one with such a long and rich history as the Blades.
Chris Wilder has brought that. A boyhood United fan and former player, Wilder knows what the club means to the supporters and has ensured the team connects with them.
As for his tactics, they are unlike anything seen in the Championship. The overlapping centre-backs Wilder has introduced is even new to experienced and renowned tactician, Marcelo Bielsa – the current head coach of Leeds United.
Finally, the way they are battling towards the end of the season is showing promotion form. United have now not conceded at home since Boxing Day. They have 11 clean sheets in 13 league matches overall since then.
They could have easily folded against Brentford but their defensive resolve, coupled with an attack spearheaded by captain Billy Sharp and McGoldrick, backs up Frank’s points.