A late goal from David Brooks saw United seize control of the race for Premier League football after Kalvin Phillips had earlier cancelled-out Billy Sharp’s opener.
Although Wilder described the result as deserved - “I thought we were the better team for long periods of the game” - he admitted to being disappointed by aspects of the visitors’ display against Thomas Christiansen’s fourth-placed side.
“We will now have a big target on our back but that’s something we’ll have to deal with,” Wilder, the United manager, said. “Whatever happens, I’m sure we can do that.
“But it also means we’ll have to play better. It’s the best win but not the best performance.
“I thought we were decidedly average. We were off the pace.”
United’s failure to translate a dominant first-half display into a commanding lead appeared to be the source of Wilder’s frustration. Indeed, when Phillips drew Leeds level after Sharp’s strike against his former club, it appeared as if Christiansen’s men would deny United the opportunity to overtake pre-match leaders Wolverhampton Wanderers.
But Brooks, scoring for the first time in United colours, produced a superb finish during the closing stages to secure his team’s 10th win in 14 league outings since being promoted last term.
Wilder, who will watch Wolves attempt to regain top spot at Queens Park Rangers today, said: “We looked for a little bit of magic from somebody to decide a tight game and the young boy got us into the lead. But I wasn’t pleased with the performance - it was one of the worst we’ve had all season.
“Our character and togetherness took us through. If it was the big game that made us edgy then we are going to have to get used to it. We are top of the division and have deserved our wins but the games are going to get bigger and we need to handle it better.”
Chris Wilder insisted Sheffield United must improve following last night’s victory over Leeds – despite climbing to the top of the Championship table.