Sheffield United defender Chris Basham bracing for last-gasp promotion race with Leeds United

Sheffield United’s Chris Basham says the club is braced for a last-gasp conclusion to the Championship promotion race after losing ground to Leeds in Monday’s Sheffield derby.

Tuesday, 5th March 2019, 8:09 pm
Updated Tuesday, 5th March 2019, 9:22 pm
Sheffield United defender Christ Basham

Leeds regained control of a top-two place as Sheffield United were held to a 0-0 draw by Sheffield Wednesday, 72 hours after Marcelo Bielsa’s side routed West Bromwich Albion at Elland Road.

Bielsa watched his players up the ante with a brilliant 4-0 victory on Friday night, temporarily regaining top spot in the Championship.

Current leaders Norwich City responded with a win at Millwall the following day but Sheffield United were left in third place as a third Steel City derby in a row finished goalless.

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Leeds and the Blades are rapidly heading for a potentially decisive showdown at Elland Road a week on Saturday and two points separate the clubs ahead of this weekend’s games.

Basham, a mainstay in Chris Wilder’s defence, said: “Everybody is stepping up to the plate. I think it’s going to go quite far to the end. We’re not ones to calculate what you need here and there. I think it’s a case of trying to win as many games as we can and make our home ground a fortress – not get beaten away if we can and win as many as we can at home. No-one is going to win every game. If they do, fair play to them, they deserve to go up, but I don’t think everyone will. We’ve still got to go to Leeds yet and, hopefully, we can go there and beat them.”

Basham admitted that Sheffield United had taken encouragement from Leeds’ defeat at QPR last week, a game in hand which Leeds failed to take advantage of. Bielsa’s players, however, responded emphatically with their biggest win of the season against a West Brom side who were themselves in the running for a top-two finish.

“We were all happy with the (Leeds) result at QPR,” Basham said. “It’s just the way the games are going.

“We’re in a really good position for this group of players and the budget we’ve got and every player is an outstanding one in the dressing room. That’s why they’ve mucked in so well.”