London (AFP) – Sheffield United coach Chris Wilder said his team must build on Tuesday’s first win of the season and meet the “incredible challenge” they face in staying in the Premier League.
The 53-year-old admitted he was so nervous in added time of the 1-0 victory over Newcastle he would have taken up another sport had they conceded a goal.
Victory still leaves them nine points adrift of safety and three daunting upcoming fixtures against Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester United and Manchester City.
They have five points and with 20 games remaining face an uphill battle to meet West Brom’s total of 36 in 2005 which is the lowest a team has survived with in a 38 match season.
All the sides above them have played fewer games than they have.
Wilder’s side have made the worst ever start to a Premier League season and their first target will be to avoid the ignominy of getting fewer points than the 11 Derby managed in 2007-08.
Wilder, though, said there are positive signs his side are returning to the form that saw them finish ninth in the table last season.
“I felt we had an identity and it was us with the handbrake off, going for it and playing well in and out of possession,” he said.
“The key now is to take it forward, we can’t waste it. We’ve got an incredible challenge ahead of us but if we can make it competitive.
“I was looking for my car keys and to take up another sport if we’d thrown it away in added time,” he added.
United’s veteran striker Billy Sharp tucked away the penalty to secure the points.
The 34-year-old said the players are feeling pretty relaxed given no one outside the club believes they will avoid relegation.
“Everyone has written us off — the pressure is off,” striker Sharp told Sky Sports.
“We’ve not had a great time in the last few months but we’ve got to keep our heads high now. We’re good enough to do it.”
25+ Channels With Sports & News
- Starting price: $33/mo. for fubo Latino Package
- Watch Premier League, Liga MX, MLS & World Cup
- Includes ESPN, FOX, Univision, TUDN and more
Favorite Leagues At The Best Price
- Starting price: $7.99/mo. for Live TV Package
- Watch Argentine league, Brasileirāo and Copa Libertadores
- Includes beIN SPORTS, GolTV, TyC Sports and more
Many Sports & ESPN Originals
- Price: $6.99/mo. (or get ESPN+, Hulu & Disney+ for $13.99/mo.)
- Features LaLiga, Bundesliga, MLS, Copa del Rey & more
- Also includes daily ESPN FC news & highlights show
Live TV, Soccer & Originals
- Starting price: $4.99/mo.
- Features Champions League, Serie A, Europa League & more
- Includes CBS, Star Trek & CBS Sports HQ
175 Premier League Games & PL TV
- Starting price: $4.99/mo. for Peacock Premium
- Watch 175 exclusive EPL games per season
- Includes Premier League TV channel plus movies, TV shows & more
Get All 3 And Save 30%
- $13.99/mo. for ESPN+, Disney+ & Hulu
- Includes Bundesliga, LaLiga, NHL & the home to UFC
- Features Marvel, Star Wars + shows & movies for your entire family