Wilder: We can still get bet­ter

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By Steve Har­ri­son

SH­EFFIELD United boss Chris Wilder says his side need to per­form bet­ter, de­spite their Billy Sharp-in­spired win over Wi­gan that took them to the top of the ta­ble.

Wi­gan’s Chey Dunk­ley opened the scor­ing for United with an own goal when his clear­ance from in­side the six­yard box found the back of his own net.

Kieron Free­man’s quick throw-in caught the Wi­gan de­fence off-guard and the ball fell into the path of Chris Basham, who in­stinc­tively squared the ball across goal where Dunk­ley was wait­ing to clear the danger, only to fire it into the side of his own net.

The vis­i­tors were lively through­out the en­counter, though, and found an equal­is­ing goal through Kai Nai­smith 15 min­utes later.

Within min­utes of re­plac­ing the in­jured Gary Roberts for Wi­gan, Nai­smith was picked out by full-back Nathan Byrne in the penalty box, and the sub­sti­tute was able to vol­ley past Dean Hen­der­son, who should have done bet­ter af­ter get­ting a hand to the shot.

But Sharp scored his first of three goals in the game af­ter 45 min­utes, when he fired home the loose ball af­ter Richard Stear­man had headed back across goal.

His sec­ond came not long af­ter the restart, when Leon Clarke played a low ball across goal to find United cap­tain Sharp wait­ing at the back post to tap home.

Sharp sealed his hat-trick, and the win for his club shortly af­ter the hour mark, when he prod­ded the ball through the arms of Wi­gan keeper Chris­tian Wal­ton.

Wi­gan played their part in an end-to-end game, and got their sec­ond of the game through sub­sti­tute Joe Garner, who found the back of the net with a low shot from in­side the box.

Both Wi­gan and United pushed for an­other goal in the fi­nal 20 min­utes, but it was United who held on for all three points.

Wilder said: “From a foot­balling point of view, I thought we took our goals very well. But you never turn down three points, es­pe­cially in the Cham­pi­onship.

“Next time out we’ll need to do a lit­tle bit bet­ter. Give credit to the op­po­si­tion, though, they came here and gave it a real good go.

“Maybe we didn’t de­serve to win the game. It never felt as though we were in con­trol, we were a bit slack. From a de­fen­sive point of view, the goals con­ceded aren’t great.”

Wi­gan man­ager Paul Cook said: “Sh­effield United are, for me, the out­stand­ing team in this di­vi­sion.

“Other teams might have bet­ter in­di­vid­ual play­ers, but they are the best team.

“Sh­effield United are a very com­plete team, they work so hard for each other and they played some re­ally great foot­ball. We all knew how hard it would be for us com­ing here. Un­for­tu­nately for us, Sh­effield United didn’t have to do an aw­ful lot, and that’s a mas­sive dis­ap­point­ment for us.

“Our chal­lenge is to main­tain our sta­tus in this league.”

PIC­TURE: PA Im­ages

SO SHARP: The pro­lific Billy Sharp completes his hat-trick to wrap up the points

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