Chris Wilder, the Sheffield United manager, has rubbished suggestions his side is locked in a four way battle for automatic promotion from League One.
Instead Wilder, whose side returns to action at Rochdale this afternoon, warned even teams apparently out of top two contention are capable of mounting a charge between now and the end of the season.
United remained seven points clear at the top of the table when second-placed Scunthorpe, who are above Fleetwood Town on goal difference, and Bolton Wanderers in fourth both failed to win their midweek games.
Wilder said: “It’s a tough division. I went to Bradford against MK Dons on Tuesday. MK Dons could have won that, Bradford should have possibly won.
“When the other results came in, was I surprised Wimbledon got something there (at Scunthorpe)? No. Am I surprised Bristol Rovers got something (against Bolton)? No.
“I think anything can happen in these last 12 games. What pleases me is we are in great spot, position-wise, but even more with our performance and attitude. I am not so sure that can be said for some of the teams that are chasing us. Some are, there are some teams there that will really fancy their chances now.”
United head to Spotland unbeaten in five outings while Scunthorpe have failed to win since February. Bolton, meanwhile, gave taken maximum points just twice this year.
“People have said it’s between three teams, and I never thought that,” Wilder said. “Things change pretty quickly.
“Millwall and Fleetwood are on a great run. We know that and we have to guard against that. But (with) the likes of Millwall and Bradford, I think this will be a tight, close race.
“There are a lot of good teams who will fancy their chances now. For teams not in good form, it’s difficult to get out of that dip. From our point of view, we just have to make sure we continue to put in consistently good performances.
“The picture has changed over the last four weeks, and we still have eight weeks left of the season, so it can quickly change and there could be quite a lot of twists and turns.”