United’s attack strategy
describe the feeling of walking off the pitch after that.”
The boyhood Liverpool fan, 25, had never played in the Premier League until this season and – as well as Wilder’s tactics – is also being driven on by the pain of being released by Everton as a youngster.
“That [rejection] is always in the back of your mind when you get a setback, you want to prove people wrong,” he said. “It’s always been there in me and hopefully I can do that.
“It’s been a journey for myself and my family. I’ve had a lot of knock-backs along the way. It hasn’t been easy. But it’s a journey I wouldn’t change. I’m at the top now and hopefully I can stay there.
“I think if I had been given a chance at Everton, I would have taken it. It was never to be.
“We’re a hard-working bunch here. Playing in the lower leagues brings that mentality.”
Wilder is staying grounded despite how high his team are riding in the table. The United manager said: “If I’m sitting here in five years’ time with five years as a Premier League manager [like Burnley manager Sean Dyche], I’ll be pinching myself then.”
Every Burnley starting player’s position in the side is understood to be under scrutiny after their failure to combat the home side’s threats. The players’ body language was a worry at times and uncharacteristic errors were made.
Erik Pieters, the former Holland left-back, had a particularly torrid afternoon and was replaced at halftime by Charlie Taylor. “It was well below our standard,” said Taylor. “I don’t think we were at it from minute one and they were.”
High times: Chris Wilder has taken Sheffield United into the top six