(Reuters) - Sheffield United are nowhere near the relegation zone and are pushing for a spot in next season’s Europa League but manager Chris Wilder said on Friday that his primary focus is on ensuring their Premier League survival.
The Blades, who won promotion to the top flight last season, are sixth in the standings with 36 points after a stellar campaign but Wilder’s target is 40 points which virtually guarantees a team stays up.
“It’s a push for three points, 40 has always been a big number for a newly-promoted side,” Wilder told reporters ahead of Sunday’s home game against Bournemouth. “After we get that it’ll always be about the next three points.”
Blades striker David McGoldrick is back in contention after recovering from a foot injury that had sidelined him for four matches but Wilder hinted at playing on-loan forward Richairo Zivkovic after he impressed in training.
McGoldrick is yet to open his goal-scoring account in the Premier League while 23-year-old Dutchman Zivkovic scored 16 goals and made three assists for Chinese second tier club Changchun Yatai last season.
“He’s (McGoldrick) been out on the grass this week but what has been good for me is that we have players like Richairo and Luke Freeman putting in great performances in training,” Wilder said.
“There always has been competition for places but when quality players come in like they have over the last week, the intensity, tempo and standard definitely increases 5 to 10%.”
Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Davis
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