Chris Wilder has admitted he is envious of David Moyes’ CV and hailed the West Ham manager’s spectacular performance this season.
West Ham finished only 16th last season, but Moyes has overseen a transformation in the London club’s fortunes.
The Hammers host Wilder’s Sheffield United side on Monday evening in sixth place, just one point off the top four and qualification for next season’s Champions League.
Indeed, if they beat the Blades, West Ham will usurp champions Liverpool and end the night in fourth if Chelsea fail to win at home to Newcastle.
“For David to have had the career he has had, I have nothing but admiration,” said Wilder. “He’s done a spectacular job at West Ham.
“He is a three-time winner of the LMA Manager of the Year which is voted for by fellow managers who understand the game, the business and the industry.
“What he did at Preston, Everton, having the opportunity to manage one of the biggest clubs in the world, working abroad in Spain, and then coming back into the Premier League and still doing it now, shows he has had a fabulous career. It is one that I am very envious of and have admiration for.”
In contrast to West Ham’s resurgence, Wilder’s team have desperately struggled for points on their second season back in the top flight. The Blades boss is well aware that they must start winning matches to keep their slim survival hopes alive.
Following a poor start to the season they have won six of their last nine matches in all competitions, booking an FA Cup quarter-final tie against Chelsea next month.
But with 15 league matches remaining, they are 14 points adrift of safety after Burnley completed an impressive 3-0 victory at Crystal Place on Saturday.
“There is always realism when you are involved in football,” added Wilder.
“If you don’t win games of football you put yourself in this position and I don’t want to be in a position where we need snookers.
“We are battling on, we think we can win games of football in this division, and who is to say we will need to win eight or nine games?
“I don’t know what the form will be like of teams above us but in the world of statistics, history and records, we are going to have to go some to win games.
“But we have to go right to the end regardless of whether it is mathematically possible or not. We have an obligation to go to the end and the players know that and that is what they will do.”