Wilder: We can still get better
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.”
SO SHARP: The prolific Billy Sharp completes his hat-trick to wrap up the points