Sheffield United: Chris Wilder says his Sunderland rival proved an important point last term

Chris Wilder takes his team to Sunderland tomorrow: Simon Bellis/Sportimage
Chris Wilder takes his team to Sunderland tomorrow: Simon Bellis/Sportimage
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Chris Wilder has insisted the job Simon Grayson performed at Preston North End proves good management is more important than money in the Championship.

Wilder made the claim as he prepares his Sheffield United side for tomorrow’s trip to Sunderland, where Grayson is now in charge after leaving Deepdale.

Caolan Lavery is out for four weeks: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

Caolan Lavery is out for four weeks: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

Despite their lack of financial resources, Preston flirted with the play-offs last season before finishing comfortably in mid-table.

Wilder, whose biggest outlay during the recent transfer window was £700,000, said: “What Simon did there proves you can do it without large amounts of cash. Organisation, good characters and a great team spirit can take you a long way. You can have the most expensive (players) out there but, if you don’t have those qualities, you won’t get very far.”

United climbed to fifth in the table when they beat Derby County nearly a fortnight ago. But they travel to the Stadium of Light, where Grayson’s side have yet to win this term, searching for a first away victory since being promoted four months ago.

Dismissing suggestions United should adopt a more conservative approach on Wearside, Wilder said: “We won’t change our approach. We’ve played two very tough games on the road. Middlesbrough are everyone’s favourites to go up and Cardiff City, the early leaders, have started off like a house on fire. But we were in both games and certainly, at Middlesbrough, should have taken a point.”

Ben Heneghan and Cameron Carter Vickers (right): Simon Bellis/Sportimage

Ben Heneghan and Cameron Carter Vickers (right): Simon Bellis/Sportimage

“We’re a team that likes to attack, that likes to get forward and play exciting football,” Wilder added. “That’s not going to alter. I don’t think our fans would want us to and I don’t think it should.”

Former Birmingham City striker Clayton Donaldson is set to make his United debut in the North-East while fellow deadline day signing Ben Heneghan and on-loan defender Cameron Carter-Vickers are also available. However, Wilder will be without the suspended Leon Clarke and Caolan Lavery who underwent a second operation to repair his damaged eyesocket yesterday.

“Caolan has gone in for another op,” Wilder, revising his timescale for Lavery’s return, said. “So he looks like be out for four weeks or so.”