Chris Wilder insists plenty of hard work still lies ahead after extending his contract as Sheffield United manager.
Since taking charge in the summer of 2016, Wilder has taken his boyhood team from League One to fifth in the Premier League – at least temporarily – following Friday night’s 1-0 win against West Ham.
Staying up was the aim following promotion last season and the Blades are within touching distance of achieving that goal, with 32 points from their 22 matches.
Wilder wants to establish the club in the top flight and, after signing a new deal until 2024, the 52-year-old has outlined key areas he needs to develop as the Blades play catch-up with their rivals.
“The club have recognised that they want to extend it and I am happy working for the football club,” said Wilder. “There’s still a load of work to be done, we’re quite a distance off on a lot of things as a newly-promoted side.
“We are not up to speed with a lot of the Premier League clubs, if not all of them, in certain aspects, whether it is academy or whether it is the training ground or investment into players.
“But we will do it, we will try to, in our own way, and the club have given me the task of continuing the work that we’ve started.
“I don’t need to go on record in terms of what the club means to me. We are working to improve things all the time and the challenge is to make sure we have Premier League football on a regular basis.”
With the club looking to also extend the contracts of some of the players, Wilder thinks that managerial stability might aid those negotiations.
He said: “Players are always looking to see what’s happening with the manager so hopefully it will also give them a bit of security.
“I’ve not looked away at all, but the club wanted to offer me a deal. I know they were talking about doing it at the end of the season, but they’ve brought it forward and I was obviously delighted to commit.”
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