Former Sheffield United midfielder, Michael Brown, thinks he knows the key to the club’s success this season.

Brown played for the Blades between 2000 and 2004 before moving onto the Premier League with the likes of Tottenham Hotspur, Fulham and Wigan Athletic.

United have now returned to the top flight themselves for the first time in 12 years. After 27 matches they sit seventh in the table with 40 points.

Despite being many peoples’ pick to go down, relegation is no longer being considered at Bramall Lane. Instead, the question is whether Chris Wilder’s side can qualify for Europe.

And Brown says why his former team are performing so well.

“I spoke to Chris Wilder on the media day at the start of the season and I asked him how he was going to go about it and set his team up. And I think there is the key point – team. They have a great team spirit. His signings were players he felt were still hungry and with something to prove. They want to join the team ethic,” said Brown, speaking exclusively to 888sport.

“It’s just such a great place. I was down there last week for the Bournemouth game (a 2-1 win) and there is a buzz about the place with everyone enjoying it. Even the players who are on the bench are happy to contribute and are waiting to help.

“And how brave have the players been? They always look to keep the ball and you think they might lose possession but they don’t. They’ve been incredible.”

Read the full 888sport interview with Michael Brown here.

Is Michael Brown right about Sheffield United?

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(Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

There is very much a clear identity and character to the Blades under Wilder. When new players arrive it is easy to see where they will fit into the system.

It doesn’t always work, as has been shown with summer signings Ravel Morrison and Callum Robinson. Both were loaned to Championship clubs during the January transfer window.

Yet Wilder is fantastic at working out where his squad needs improving and acting quickly to do just that.

United still largely play in the same way that brought them so much success in League One and the Championship. But subtle tweaks are constantly being made to move the tactics on.

However, none of it would work if the players didn’t believe in Wilder. And they clearly do.

Many have risen through the divisions with him, with Jack O’Connell, John Fleck and Billy Sharp all part of the League One title winning side.

Team spirit is a term often used in football, but rarely seen in evidence. At Bramall Lane they have it in abundance.

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