Sheffield United: How an off-the-cuff remark revealed why Chris Wilder’s squad will be a danger in the derby

Chris Wilder comes off the pitch with Danny Lafferty after the 1-0 win over Bolton Wanderers
Chris Wilder comes off the pitch with Danny Lafferty after the 1-0 win over Bolton Wanderers

It was a throw-away remark but one which summed-up perfectly what makes Sheffield United tick.

While others talk about becoming heroes or securing their place in history, Paul Coutts has revealed Chris Wilder’s players simply want to help each other perform during this weekend’s visit to Sheffield Wednesday.

“It’s about the team doing well, not becoming heroes, because if that happens you’ll usually get a result,” he said. “Individuals aren’t important. It’s what you do as a group, pulling in the same direction and wanting the same things, that counts.”

Speaking ahead of Sunday’s showdown, Coutts explained how Wilder has changed both the attitude and atmosphere inside Bramall Lane’s first team squad. Having finished 11th in the table under his predecessor Nigel Adkins, the 49-year-old led them to promotion at the first time of asking after taking charge 16 months ago.

“The first year I came in, it was frustrating for everyone,” Coutts, the former Derby County midfielder, said. “We just couldn’t quite click. But since the manager has come in, he’s cleaned out a lot of players are imprinted his own style on us. If we carry on following it, we’ll be in a good place. It’s something the fans have taken to as well.”

Coutts, aged 29, is preparing for his first Steel City derby since joining United in 2015.

With nearly 35,000 supporters expected to descend upon Hillsborough, he said: “It’s fantastic, the followings, a credit to both sets of fans to be fair. But I can only speak for ours and they’ve been terrific. They’ve driven us on to results we might not have got otherwise. They’ve backed to the hilt and it counts for a lot.”