Sheffield United: Recruiter Wilder grateful for board support

Jack O'Connell
Jack O'Connell
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Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder has thanked Bramall Lane’s board of directors for backing him in the transfer market.

Having unveiled six new players since being appointed as Nigel Adkins’ successor two months ago, Wilder is pressing ahead with a makeover of the League One club after identifying vacancies for another centre-half and a physical centre-forward within the first team squad.

John Fleck playing against United for Coventry last season

John Fleck playing against United for Coventry last season

Although only Chris Hussey and Jack O’Connell have commanded transfer fees, Wilder is adamant his more prudent approach to recruitment should not overshadow the efforts which have also seen John Fleck, Jake Wright, James Wilson and Mark Duffy arrive in recent weeks.

“I think it’s important to highlight the support we’ve had from the owners and the board,” Wilder said.

“Football can be an emotional business and there are always going to be times when people disagree with what you are doing or what’s going on.

“But the owners and other people behind the scenes have been very supportive. That’s shouldn’t be ignored and I want to thank them for that.”

Chris Wilder

Chris Wilder

The story behind Wright’s move to South Yorkshire is a case in point.

He was granted permission to leave on a free transfer after winning promotion from League Two with Oxford United.

But sources close to the process last night told The Star that the defender’s former club tried to renege on that agreement after discovering United were likely to be his next destination.

The talks that followed, and which ended with Wright signing a two-year contract at Bramall Lane, proved a test of both United’s negotiating skills and diplomacy.

O’Connell and Fleck received offers from the Championship before leaving Brentford and Coventry City earlier this month.

“There’s still plenty of work going on,” Wilder said. “Putting deals together isn’t always easy because there are so many different things to consider. We only want the right people coming in.”

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