Potter not surprised by Blades promotion challenge

18th January 2019
First team

Graham Potter says it is no surprise to see Sheffield United in the automatic promotion places as they head to the Liberty Stadium on Saturday (5.30pm).

The Swans look to continue an unbeaten start to 2019 in what will be their first home match of the calendar year, but they face a strong United side who are in good form.

Chris Wilder’s men have won their last four league games to climb into second place in the standings, and are well-placed for a potential return to the Premier League.

Wilder led the club to promotion from League One in 2017, and has established them as contenders for a further rise up the ladder in each of their two Championship campaigns under his stewardship.

“I think they have done great. Chris Wilder has done a tremendous job there since he took over at a time when the club was languishing a little bit,” said Potter.

“He took over in League One, they have had promotion and they have just improved every year.

“So, they are a team with a strong identity, they are well organised and you can see why they are in the promotion places to go into the Premier League.

“It’s a good team and it’s going to be a tough match.”

Although the Blades are better placed in the table, it was Swansea who came out on top when the teams met at Bramall Lane on the opening day of the season.

In Potter’s first game in charge, the Swans fell behind to a George Baldock goal but the introduction of Jefferson Montero from the bench helped them turn things around as Oli McBurnie and Yan Dhanda got on the scoresheet.

“It was quite a way to start. It was a great atmosphere there at Bramall Lane,” added Potter.

“I think we survived the first 20 minutes where they were full throttle at us.

“But then we conceded the goal and you could see that they were a good team.

“We were doing okay, but we made a couple of substitutions, Jeff made a big impact off the bench and we came away with a win.

“It could have gone the other way but we have good memories of that day.”