By William Hardy
Sheffield United are on their best form since the club won 10 games in a row in the 2013-14 season.
The Blades beat MK Dons 2-1 on Saturday to go 11 undefeated. This followed a rocky start to the season, with two losses and a draw.
In this current undefeated run the Blades have faced five of the current top seven teams in League One and are now being backed as favourites for automatic promotion to the Championship.
And a football club going on a consecutive successful streak like this is invaluable, according to Phil Andrews, head of Sports Journalism at Sheffield Hallam University.
He said: “An undefeated run is always good for the morale of both the team and their fans. The players have an extra incentive to perform to keep the run going, and the fans tend to turn up in greater numbers.
“The Blades have underperformed in recent seasons, so their large support will now feel they have a real chance of automatic promotion, and it will also give them the edge over their city rivals.”
Club captain Billy Sharp has fired ten goals in ten games for the Blades.
Not only is Chris Wilder’s team’s success great for the football club, it is also a major boost to the city of Sheffield.
Tom Sutton, corporate partnerships manager at Sheffield Chamber of Commerce, said: “An undefeated run definitely helps put Sheffield on the map and adds to the weight and power of the city.
“The leisure, tourism and retail industries benefit a lot from the club’s successful run, the influx of people is great for the hotels, pubs and shops surrounding the stadium.
“Businesses are also more inclined to get involved with the club, not just through sponsorships but active schemes which promote the image of the club and surrounding area.”
Daniel Grayson, manager of Champs Sports Bar added that when the club is performing well the city experiences a feel good factor, boosting fan turnout to the ground and punters going to the pub before the game.
He said: “When the club is successful we definitely see a rise in trade, before and after the match.
“If Sheffield United lose or are in abysmal form no one comes at all, when the team is performing better we also see a rise in families coming to our pub.”
The Blades will be aiming to keep the undefeated streak going for as long as possible, especially over a tricky Christmas period, if they are to achieve their goal and return to the Championship.