Sheffield United: Boss Chris Wilder’s call to out-of-favour Blades players

George Long
George Long
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No sniping, sulking or endless hours of soul-searching. No moping about behind the scenes.

Chris Wilder last night told those players struggling to earn a starting place at Sheffield United how they can force themselves back into his team.

“If you’re out of the side there has to be a hunger to get in,” Wilder said. “If you’re in it, then there has to be a hunger to stay there too. They are always getting judged. Whether it’s a training session, a behind-closed-doors friendly or a league fixture, we don’t come into work just to sit down and watch Sky Sports.”

Although Wilder explained he was not suggesting any member of United’s squad lacked desire, his words are pertinent given recent events surrounding George Long. The young goalkeeper was not even named on the bench for Saturday’s visit to Millwall following Simon Moore’s transfer from Cardiff City 24 hours earlier. Aaron Ramsdale deputised in Long’s absence.

“The players are the ones who can make things happen,” Wilder said. “They are the ones who ultimately decide what we do. We talk about every single one of them after every single training session. We might say ‘he looked great today’ or ‘why is he a little bit off the pace?’ and then try and find out why.

“But the point is, everyone is being judged all the time. All of us.

“If you’re not in, you have to make sure you are ready,” Wilder, who made four changes to his starting 11 at The Den, added. “You’ve got to be pushing and prepared.”

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