The Football League Paper - - CHRIS DUNLAVY -

SAY the words ‘Sh­effield United’ and, within a few sec­onds, some­body will talk about mo­men­tum.

Southend boss Phil Brown even told Foot­ball on 5 that mo­men­tum was the big­gest fac­tor be­hind the Blades’ rise to the Cham­pi­onship sum­mit.

Sorry, but that’s too sim­plis­tic. There is a lot more to Chris Wilder’s side than be­lief, big crowds and a party at­mos­phere.

Re­cruit­ment has been shrewd, the temp­ta­tion to buy big names re­sisted.

Tac­ti­cally, the for­mer Ox­ford boss is bold and in­ven­tive.

His 3-5-2 sys­tem gives ev­ery sin­gle player licence to at­tack, in­clud­ing the cen­tre-halves.

Few sides in the di­vi­sion go for the jugu­lar with such gusto, or put op­po­nents un­der such sus­tained pres­sure.

Does con­fi­dence play a part? Of course. No­body plays with free­dom on the back of five straight de­feats.

But to paint the Blades as a run­away boul­der, aim­lessly bar­relling on­wards, gives a false im­pres­sion of the care­ful plan­ning be­hind the scenes.

Mo­men­tum slows. It is now Novem­ber and they have speeded up.

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