A win for Sheffield United at Bournemouth this weekend would send out a statement to the rest of the Championship, according to right-back George Baldock.
After being relegated from the Premier League at the end of last season, the Blades have found the going tough in the Championship so far. Slavisa Jokanovic’s men have won three and drawn three of their 10 games to date, placing them 13th in the table.
For Bournemouth, relegated from the top flight the previous summer, they are flying high after an unbeaten start, only kept off the top on goal difference.
Baldock told Sheffield United TV: “It’d be a statement (to go there and win). We are under no illusions. It will be a tough game.
“They’ve got good players and a good manager, and a lot of players who have experienced Premier League for most of their careers.
“It’s going to be tough but we know that on our day we are a match for anyone and we’ll be going down there looking to get three points.
“It’s not an easy division and people look at teams who come down and think they should automatically go up back up.
“But a lot of teams have shown it’s a harder than they may have thought.”
Strike partnerships key for Jokanovic
Baldock is an ever-present this season for Jokanovic, who is still trying to find the best strike partnership for his side.
He has a plethora of forward options, including David McGoldrick, Oliver McBurnie, and Lys Mousset, who has this week been linked with a move away from Bramall Lane.
Billy Sharp is top goalscorer with three, while Rhian Brewster has been handed a call up to the England Under 21 squad.
Sharp started the midweek defeat at Middlesbrough as a lone striker, in front of Morgan Gibbs-White, Iliman Ndiaye and Ben Osborn.
Jokanovic says that partnerships are key.
The Blades manager said: “I can add McGoldrick or McBurnie, and we’ve got a few more strikers.
“Like all the players in the world, they need to trust, work hard and wait for their moment, and when the team needs them, be ready.
“My job is to choose the starting 11 and it’s my decision.
“I’m not only coaching 11 players. When you ask about me about Oli McBurnie or Lys (Mousset); next time I put Billy Sharp on the bench, you will ask me about Billy.
“They are normal questions, but this is my decision for these games.”