HomeFootball NewsSheffield United: Wilder upbeat despite Blades being on the brink

Sheffield United: Wilder upbeat despite Blades being on the brink

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Chris Wilder says there is still “a load of optimism” around Sheffield United despite the Blades standing on the cusp of relegation from the Premier League.

Defeat at Newcastle United tomorrow will see United slip into the Championship less than 12 months after promotion.

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And while Wilder concedes there is an awful lot to reflect on after a woeful campaign, he says it is not all doom and gloom at Bramall Lane.

“We’re not saying everything is great. What we are saying is there is a load of optimism about the future of the football club,” he said.

“It’s a poor season, not a poor football club. We’ve been in far more worse positions than this as a football club, certainly over my time as a supporter, player and manager.

“So, we’ll come again if the inevitable happens on the weekend. We’ll try our best, like we did on Wednesday night at Old Trafford [a 4-2 defeat at Manchester United], to get a result for our club and our supporters – who yet again were magnificent.”

Wilder returned to the Blades for a second spell in charge in December 2023, succeeding Paul Heckingbottom, but has failed to drag them away from the lower reaches of the table.

The 56-year-old believes it is a learning curve for everyone at the club ahead of a summer of reflection.

He added: “Through good times, we all enjoy it and we’re all willing to take that credit when it happens, individually and collectively as a football club, and you have to own and suffer and take responsibility for the times when there’s a little bit of pain.

“But certainly reflection is massive for me: reflection in terms of a training session, reflection in terms of a game, a part of the season or an overall season from everybody.

“There are certain things we haven’t got right as a football club this season. As a club, there is humility, a lot of humble people. We’ve had a poor season, that’s there for all to see.

“We’ve had to take the words and the criticism but as I said, it doesn’t last forever, we’ll learn. I’m still learning as a manager, at the ripe old age I am, with 1,000 games under my belt.”

United will be without striker Oli McBurnie for the rest of the season due to a groin injury while they are waiting on the results of a scan on James McAtee to determine his availability for the trip to Tyneside.

Jon Fisher
Jon Fisher
Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.

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