Sheffield United: Why taming these Shrews will be tougher

Chris Wilder (right) and his assistant Alan Knill has predicted Shrewsbury Town will pose a stiff test. Pic Simon Bellis/Sportimage
Chris Wilder (right) and his assistant Alan Knill has predicted Shrewsbury Town will pose a stiff test. Pic Simon Bellis/Sportimage
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Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder last night warned today’s fixture with Shrewsbury Town will be a much tougher assignment than when the two teams met a month ago.

Wilder’s team enter this afternoon’s match against Paul Hurst’s side third in the table and unbeaten in 12 League One games.

Despite recording a 3-0 victory during their recent visit to Greenhous Meadow, the 49-year-old acknowledged Hurst’s appointment has given Shrewsbury an extra edge.

“There’s been a definite upturn in performances there since the new manager came in,” Wilder said. “Sometimes, that’s a little bit disappointing, when you see players suddenly pull their fingers out, but they’re on a good run themselves at the moment.”

Hurst took charge of Shrewsbury six days after United’s visit to Shropshire. He has won three and drawn one of his four matches since.

Wilder, who confirmed James Wilson (ankle) and Chris Hussey (hip) will both miss this afternoon’s fixture, said: “Whether they change their shape or not, coming here, we’ll have to see. They’ve been using a diamond a lot but obviously we’ll have to find out if they go with that again.”

James Wilson will miss this afternoon's match 
�2016 Sport Image all rights reserved

James Wilson will miss this afternoon's match �2016 Sport Image all rights reserved

Wilder, expressing concerns about the scheduling of today’s contest, added: “There are certain things I don’t understand. Is there a reason for such a quick turnaround? It’s ridiculous, some of the fixtures that come up. Bristol Rovers coming to us on a Tuesday and us going down there. It’s not supporter friendly and not football friendly either.”

Meanwhile, Shrewsbury’s Jack Grimmer has confirmed Wilder’s suspicions that Shrewsbury are now a much tougher proposition than the one United encountered last month.

“I definitely think Paul’s impact has made us fearless,” Grimmer said. “We don’t want to just take part,”

Chris Hussey is also injured. Pic Simon Bellis/Sportimage

Chris Hussey is also injured. Pic Simon Bellis/Sportimage