Chris Wilder has urged Sheffield United to recreate the atmosphere of their previous two home games when Charlton Athletic visit Bramall Lane this afternoon.
Over 55,000 people watched Wilder’s team face fellow promotion contenders Bolton Wanderers and Scunthorpe and the 49-year-old hopes his players enjoy more partisan support as they prepare to face Karl Robinson’s side.
“The supporters are seeing, week in and week out, a group that’s giving everything for the football club,” Wilder said. “It’s massive for us that we get 100 per cent backing at home in terms of numbers and noise. Scunthorpe and Bolton, because they were at the top of the division, those games have taken care of themselves in terms of numbers and noise. These games might not look at high profile but they are just as important.”
Today’s match marks the final time United will play at home on a Saturday this term unless they slip into the play-offs. Despite being eight points clear at the top of the table with nine matches remaining, Wilder is taking nothing for granted. Especially after conceding a late equaliser at The Valley four months ago.
“We’re playing teams who are fighting for something,” United’s manager said. “Swindon were and Charlton will be fighting to be a part of Karl’s plans. Unfortunately, it didn’t go well for (his predecessor) Russ (Slade). But Karl will be looking to put his own stamp on things and he’ll think, if he gets the recruitment right, that they’ll have a real chance next year.”
“Charlton have had good results against teams towards the top of the table,” he added. “They’ve beaten Bolton and got a draw with Bradford. They beat Scunthorpe in the last minute and got a draw up there, when Sladey was the manager. The result down there sticks with us a little bit. We were very disappointed because we felt we’d dominated that game. But that’s what happens if you don’t put teams to bed. So we only had ourselves to blame.”