Chris Wilder hopes Sheffield United can continue to carry their FA Cup momentum into their Premier League survival battle.
The Blades have won six of their last nine matches in league and cup since gaining a first victory of the season in the third round at Bristol Rovers in January.
Wilder’s side remain bottom of the Premier League and 12 points from safety as they look to pull off the greatest of escapes, but another win against Bristol City on Wednesday night to reach the quarter finals will do little harm to their growing belief and confidence.
United only won 1-0 thanks to a Billy Sharp penalty but Wilder said: “I thought we played well and were in control against stubborn opposition. We’ve had some tight games against Bristol City in the Championship and they have turned us over a couple of times.
“But I felt we were always comfortable and comfortable in possession and we deserved to get through to the quarter finals. Getting through to the last eight for two years on the spin is good for us and now we have to use that momentum going into an incredibly competitive next few games.
“The FA Cup has put belief and confidence into the boys and we will hopefully use another win tonight to go and get some more results in what is a very challenging period for us.”
Sharp tucked away the spot kick after VAR ruled that Alfie Mawson had deflected a goalbound effort from David McGoldrick on to the crossbar with an arm, an offence for which he was shown a red card.
Before that 65th-minute incident, the Sky Bet Championship team had succeeded in frustrating the side bottom of the Premier League, as Wilder’s men dominated possession without creating too many clear-cut chances.
City can also take much credit for the way they reacted after the setback and boss Dean Holden felt his side were hard done to over the penalty and red card.
“I thought it was a really disappointing way to lose a game of football and it is difficult to take. I think if the game was played at Ashton Gate it’s not given, as there’s no VAR at Championship stadiums,” said Holden.
“Alfie feels responsible, but he shouldn’t to be honest as it’s a heroic bit of defending.
“I’m really disappointed because I thought our performance levels were good. I think we acquitted ourselves really well and we’ve been on the wrong end of a decision.
“It’s difficult but we will pick ourselves up and go again at Watford with the belief we can get our season going again.”