Sheffield United: Wilder calls on senior players as Blades prepare for Derby County

John Brayford is expected to face his former club tonight. Pic Simon Bellis/Sportimage
John Brayford is expected to face his former club tonight. Pic Simon Bellis/Sportimage
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He is not planning a democracy. Team selection will not up for discussion or major tactical decisions put to a vote.

But Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder has confirmed senior players are being encouraged to voice their opinion on a range of issues ahead of the new League One campaign.

Wilder, whose team continues its pre-season preparations against Derby County tonight, said: “You can’t canvass everybody and talk to everybody and make it a debate on what you think. But it is really important we have a good relationship with the senior players.

“We will want to know about issues in the changing rooms and have real good contact to the players and a respectful relationship. Hopefully they will understand our jobs and it would be a bit daft of me not to use the senior players. I have always used the senior players and will carry on doing that.”

Wilder, who guided Northampton Town to the League Two title last season, named Billy Sharp as United’s new captain after being appointed in May. Together with Chris Basham and former Derby defender John Brayford, the centre-forward features among a group of experienced professionals Wilder wants to help set standards behind the scenes.

“It important you trust your senior players,” Wilder added. “Billy has had promotions and been in big changing rooms which have succeeded and in ones that have failed. But the top and bottom of it, is that he’s a really good character and wants to do well. That is the reason we made him skipper and why Brayford in the past here, and Basham, has done well. They are players who want to do well.”

Billy Sharp (centre) celebrates with Marc McNulty and Matt Done. Pic David Klein/Sportimage

Billy Sharp (centre) celebrates with Marc McNulty and Matt Done. Pic David Klein/Sportimage

Goals from Stefan Scougall and a Paul Coutts penalty saw a strong United team beat Hallam FC last night. Ryan Hindley’s Hallam acquitted themselves well against a Blades outfit that, despite being labelled a development squad, contained numerous first team players.

Chris Basham has impressed with his attitude behind the scenes. Pic David Klein/Sportimage

Chris Basham has impressed with his attitude behind the scenes. Pic David Klein/Sportimage