Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder has rubbished suggestions that team spirit is a problem behind the scenes at Bramall Lane.
United enter Saturday’s meeting with Oxford bottom of the League One table having failed to win any of their opening four games.
But Wilder, who dismissed claims his side lacks the stomach for a fight following last weekend’s defeat by Millwall, insisted confidence, not character, is the biggest issue facing United’s players following a disappointing start to the new campaign.
“The spirit is alright, there’s no problems there,” he said. “No matter what people might talk about or say.
“Some, yes, aren’t at the top of their game or are lacking a bit of confidence. But historically they are good players. They have been at other clubs and they will be again.”
Wilder has spoken publicly about his desire to make more signings before the transfer window closes later this month. Coaching staff were scheduled to hold talks with George Long yesterday after granting the goalkeeper time-off following Simon Moore’s arrival from Cardiff City before the visit to London. A defender, midfielder and possibly a winger feature on Wilder’s list of targets after John Brayford was loaned to Burton Albion in order to create space on United’s wage bill.
Indicating he does not plan to recruit a direct replacement, Wilder said: “Kieron Freeman showed a good reaction. He’s not let us down at all. It’s up to him now. We’ll move on with what we’ve got and make us better.”
United were beaten in heart-breaking circumstances at The Den when, after first-half goals from Shaun Williams and Stefan Scougall, Steve Morison converted an 89th minute penalty.
“It’s a cruel game at times but that’s why were are in it,” Wilder said. “Nobody is jumping about with the situation. But it’s no good feeling sorry for ourselves and being down.”