DANNY Wilson, the Sheffield United manager, lavished praise on his players following their victory over Tranmere Rovers.
The result, which lifted Wilson’s side to fifth in the League One table, saw them return to winning ways after a shock defeat by Stevenage earlier this month.
United’s automatic promotion credentials had been called into question following that set-back but Wilson, who made no attempt to disguise his frustration with some of the criticism they faced after returning from Hertfordshire, said: “That’s our target. The top two. Automatic promotion.
“We’ve never wavered in that belief or objective. Others might have wavered but not us.
“Nothing has been decided yet and there’s still plenty of football to go. But, in the context of the division as a whole, I’m delighted with that.
“The lads were so professional and in control throughout. Those are three very important points but now we’ve got to make sure we go out and do it all over again.”
United, who entertain Carlisle on Monday, secured victory courtesy of Tony McMahon’s deflected strike just before half time.
Rovers, who had started the afternoon one place above the visitors in the rankings, struggled to break down a defence which has now kept seven clean sheets in its last eight outings.
Wilson, who insisted winger Jamie Murphy (hamstring) is still expected to feature for United this term despite “being nowhere near” selection for yesterday’s trip to Prenton Park, said: “The experienced boys in the team were magnificent. They got better and better as the game wore on and showed exactly why we brought them here.
“Psychologically, that’s going to be very good for our confidence going forward.
“And we defended once again like we usually have been doing of late so hopefully that’s a good sign.”
Wilson added: “I certainly hope and expect Jamie to be involved again soon. But if we’d played him here on what was a very difficult pitch then we’d have probably lost him again for the rest of the season.
“It goes without saying that’s not something we want to do. We’ve got to be careful and make sure he’s right.”