Wilder is keep­ing his su­per Blades grounded

Yorkshire Post - Sports Monday - - FOOTBALL - Robert Gled­hill Email: robert.gled­hill@ypn.co.uk Twit­ter: @RGled­hillYPS­port

URIAH HEAP made many ref­er­ences to his own ‘um­ble­ness’ in Charle Dick­ens’s novel David Cop­per­field.

But there was none of that char­ac­ter’s in­sin­cer­ity in Chris Wilder’s com­ments amid the eu­pho­ria of a stun­ning per­for­mance by his Sh­effield United side at Bra­mall Lane.

To some ex­tent, Wilder’s day was marred by the sta­dium an­nouncer’s wry com­ment of there be­ing ‘only’ two min­utes of stop­page time to play at the end of the first half with the Blades 3-0 ahead.

“I’ll deal with that, don’t worry about that. We are a hum­ble club and I’m a hum­ble man­ager,” was an up­set Wilder’s re­ac­tion.

“I have al­ready sorted that out so it won’t hap­pen again. I apol­o­gise on be­half of Sh­effield United to Steve (Bruce) and his play­ers be­cause it is not ac­cept­able.

“We move on. It was a bit of over-en­thu­si­asm. We have to re­alise we have a hell of a long way to come. It is our sec­ond sea­son in this divi­sion and we have had one re­ally good re­sult but that is all it is.

“We have said there are a cou­ple of clubs in the Cham­pi­onship that talk the talk and some­times don’t walk the walk and I just want us to be hum­ble and work hard and have the at­ti­tude that has been in the club for the last 24 months to carry on. There is no way that I will al­low that to get out of hand.”

There is also no way the ‘Billy big boots’ syn­drome an­other former Blades man­ager, Dave Bas­sett, was so fond of men­tion­ing will be al­lowed to creep in un­der Wilder. The work ethic he has in­stilled was per­son­i­fied by the 10-minute cameo of striker Conor Wash­ing­ton, signed on a one-year deal af­ter his re­lease by QPR on Fri­day.

Wash­ing­ton, Mid­dles­brough winger Marvin John­son and util­ity de­fender Martin Cranie were the trio brought in on loan win­dow dead­line day and Wilder claimed: “It has been a fan­tas­tic win­dow. Pound for pound when you look at what other peo­ple have done we are right up there.

“This is the hard­est win­dow to work in but we have come out of it in good nick and need to kick on.”

While up­set coun­ter­part Bruce be­moaned the fact that he will have 10 play­ers away on in­ter­na­tional duty and not have the op­por­tu­nity to right the wrongs of Bra­mall Lane, Wilder en­thused: “It is fan­tas­tic for our club to have play­ers go­ing away on in­ter­na­tional duty. We are grad­u­ally mov­ing for­ward.

“We have to carry this for­ward and we go into the in­ter­na­tional break in a good po­si­tion. There is no way that we can get car­ried away. It was a top per­for­mance but the key is to pro­duce this type of per­for­mance on a reg­u­lar ba­sis.”

Cen­tral de­fender Jack O’Connell also feels the Blades are evolv­ing af­ter mak­ing it four Cham­pi­onship wins in suc­ces­sion as they moved up to third in the fledg­ling ta­ble.

He scored his first Cham­pi­onship goal for the club with a six-yard header from Oliver Nor­wood’s inch-per­fect free-kick de­liv­ery in the sixth minute and re­flected: “It was a very good win but it’s a long old sea­son. We started well last time but faded away but we have im­proved our squad and the signs are re­ally good so, hope­fully, we can chal­lenge.

“To­day was a mas­sive win be­cause Villa are a top side and they are go­ing to be up there. I don’t see why we can’t chal­lenge. When we start well and get in front we can beat any­one. We have a lot more ex­pe­ri­ence now. The staff have learned and the play­ers have learned. There were a lot of us last sea­son who had never played in the Cham­pi­onship for a full sea­son and so we have learned from our mis­takes. We still have to be a bit cuter at times but we can learn about that.”

Of his goal, he added: “Fun­nily enough, the man­ager said be­fore that game that I was go­ing to score and it’s been a long time com­ing to be fair.”

O’Connell’s goal was fol­lowed be­fore the break by oth­ers from Mark Duffy and Nor­wood as the Blades out-passed and out-fought the vis­i­tors, former Blades man­ager Bruce ad­mit­ting: “We did not see it com­ing but if you do not do the ba­sics you get pun­ished against a very good Sh­effield team who blew us away in that first half.”

Four min­utes af­ter the restart, it was game over as Blades cap­tain Billy Sharp struck with a shot on the turn to en­sure there was no way back for the Villa.

Duffy’s goal typ­i­fied the Blades tenac­ity, out­muscling John McGinn in mid­field and driv­ing for­ward be­fore let­ting fly from out­side the area to beat Or­jan Ny­land down to his left.

The goal­keeper was at fault in the 41st minute when Nor­wood’s free-kick caught him nap­ping as it was whipped in to the near post and bounced in off the scram­bling Ny­land’s chest.

An­war El Ghazi beat the off- side trap to make it 4-1 in the 61st minute but Ny­land pre­vented David McGoldrick mak­ing it 5-1 at the far post and Sharp was ruled off­side af­ter knock­ing the ball in.

With new faces to blend in, Wilder says: “I want dif­fi­cult de­ci­sions, I don’t want easy ones. There has to be a group men­tal­ity with every­body knock­ing on the door.”


Oliver Nor­wood is con­grat­u­lated by cen­tral de­fender Chris Basham af­ter his 41st-minute free-kick had caught Or­jan Ny­land nap­ping and made it 3-0 to the Blades. In­set, striker Conor Wash­ing­ton, who en­joyed a fine late cameo on de­but.

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