Sheffield United: Wilder ready to utilise Blades squad strength

Chris Wilder
Chris Wilder
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Sheffield United are poised to make changes to their starting 11 for tomorrow’s game against Bradford City.

But, after being crowned League One champions yesterday, manager Chris Wilder insisted his selections will be based on sporting needs rather than sentiment.

“We’ll have a little look,” he said. “We will try and utilise the squad over the weekend. There’s no romance or feelings involved.

“There are unique parts of the season, Christmas and Easter are two, when you have to look at the group and what’s best. You always put your best team out but you have to have half an eye on the schedule.”

Wilder’s willingness to reshuffle the options at his disposal - Billy Sharp and former City centre-forward James Hanson are among those rested in recent weeks - has enabled United to avoid unnecessary injuries during the second half of the campaign.

“It’s quite easy to pile your money into 11 or 13 players,” he added. “You hear people moan about having small squad but they choose to run with one. We feel we’ve got the right numbers and the right balance of everything.

“We’ve got a sign up on the wall in the office detailing the things we need to tick off; right -ooters, left-footers, characters and good technique.”

Meanwhile, City defender Tony McMahon has congratulated his former club on winning the title ahead of his return to Bramall Lane.

McMahon, who represented United between 2012 and 2014, said: “Credit to them, United have been the best team throughout the season.”

With City in fourth, McMahon added: “We’re in good form. Not many will want to play us in the play-offs. But we’ve got to finish the job off.”

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