Sheffield United: Chris Wilder’s number two set to be rewarded with new deal

Alan Knill is set to follow in Chris Wilder's footsteps by signing a new contract: Simon Bellis/Sportimage
Alan Knill is set to follow in Chris Wilder's footsteps by signing a new contract: Simon Bellis/Sportimage
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Alan Knill is poised to sign a new contract with Sheffield United, manager Chris Wilder has confirmed.

The development comes after Wilder also agreed fresh terms with the club following last season’s promotion winning campaign and ensures the partnership responsible for overseeing that success will remain intact.

Wilder, revealing that first team coach Matt Prestridge and goalkeeping coach Darren Ward have also committed their futures to Bramall Lane, said: “Alan is having discussions with the chief exec as well. I brought Alan and Matt in to the football club when I got the job.

“Darren Ward has signed a new deal and Matt has signed a new deal as well. The goalkeeping coach and sports scientist and first team coach.”

Knill, Wilder’s assistant, joined United following the 49-year-old’s appointment 13 months ago. Like Prestridge, he worked with Wilder at Northampton Town. Ward, a former Wales international, has worked with a number of United managers, including Danny Wilson and Nigel Clough.

Although the exact terms of Knill’s proposed arrangement remain undisclosed, it is thought the contract he has been offered will run in tandem with the one Wilder “verbally accepted” earlier this month. United, who unveiled Andy Birks as their new chief operating officer on Monday, accumulated 100 points en route to the League One title last term and make their long-awaited return to the Championship when Brentford visit South Yorkshire on August 5.

Alan Knill and Chris Wilder with co-owner Kevin McCabe 
�2016 Sport Image all rights reserved

Alan Knill and Chris Wilder with co-owner Kevin McCabe �2016 Sport Image all rights reserved

“I brought the guys in and work with good people I inherited, as it were,” Wilder explained. “I’m not one of those managers who all of a sudden gets rid of people who might be under my nose and can do a good job. All the staff were fantastic last year.

“I would expect Alan would get done. It’s just a conversation and the same sort of process (as me) to go through. It will work the same way.

“Alan loves it here, just as much as me. We work well together and he’s been a big part of our success. We all work together really well and we’re all on the same page which is important.”

Meanwhile, Jake Wright last night admitted he was”delighted” to be staying with United. Wilder announced he had triggered a clause, which extended the centre-half’s deal, after publishing the club’s retained and released list nearly five weeks ago.

Darren Ward (right) has also agreed fresh terms at Bramall Lane. Pic Simon Bellis/Sportimage

Darren Ward (right) has also agreed fresh terms at Bramall Lane. Pic Simon Bellis/Sportimage

United are also set to hold talks with Paul Coutts, Chris Basham and captain Billy Sharp after signalling their intention to secure the trio’s futures.

“They know we want them to be here,” Wilder said recently. “This underlines that.”

Former Hull City defender Alex Bruce is training with United after leaving the East Yorkshire club at the end of last season. Wilder, who admitted he wants to bring Ethan Ebanks-Landell back to Bramall Lane from Wolverhampton Wanderers, met the 32-year-old’s father Steve during a short-break in Portugal earlier this month.