Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder buries hatchet with Daniel Farke ahead of Blades' clash with Norwich City

Almost 12 months ago he marched up to the Bramall Lane media suite and launched an extraordinary broadside against Daniel Farke and Norwich City, stopping just short at including Delia Smith and Ed Balls.

Thursday, 16th August 2018, 3:53 pm
Updated Thursday, 16th August 2018, 4:00 pm
Chris Wilder is sent to the stands at home against Norwich...

But, as Sheffield United prepare to welcome the Canaries once again, Blades boss Chris Wilder insists he bears no ill-feeling whatsoever to the German and his side as the clubs prepare to lock horns on Saturday at Bramall Lane.

“There’s nothing personal between myself and the manager there, at all,” Wilder said.

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“We had a drink afterwards at our place, and had one at Carrow Road, too. I said some things from my point of view at the time that I believe were correct, and how it works here, but everyone has the right to do what they want to do.

“It was disappointing for me that we were left waiting on the pitch for the second half, and the referee has an obligation to go and get them out of their dressing room and stop us standing about. But there you go.

“I say it as it is, and move on. There’s no ill-feeling or lingering situations, anything like that. No problem between me and their manager at all.”

That episode, and events of four months later when United went to Carrow Road and returned the favour somewhat in a 2-1 win, have though fuelled something of a mini-rivalry between two clubs 127 miles apart.

Chris Wilder is sent to the stands at home against Norwich...

Norwich’s dark arts began almost as soon as Yanic Wildschut put Norwich in front in the 23rd minute, with goalkeeper Angus Gunn and forward James Maddison particularly culpable.

Indeed, only German centre-half Timm Klose showed any disdain in his side’s antics on an afternoon which saw Wilder sent to the stands for kicking water bottles on the touchline and United, who fielded half-fit Ched Evans upfront after an injury crisis decimated their striker pool, lost 1-0.

“These things happen,” Wilder continued. “Daniel is a good guy, I met him on a few occasions and we live and learn. We had two tight games against them last season; we possibly should have won at home and maybe they’ll think they should have beat us at their place.

“He’s a good guy and it’ll be a tight game. They’re an established team with some good young players, and recruited well in the summer. He’s brought in players he knows, and they’re a good, proper Championship football club.”

...but celebrated victory at Carrow Road when United got their revenge later in the season

So, too, are United and beating City away last season ranked as one of their best performances of the campaign.

There was a healthy dose of schadenfreude when City’s Josh Murphy pointed to his watch in front of the Blades fans to accuse the visitors of wasting time - spurning a chant about ‘playing football the Norwich way’ by slowing the game down - and Wilder did little to endear himself to the people of Norfolk with an exuberant celebration after the final whistle blew, which he later attributed to his late father-in-law being ill in hospital.

That terrace song got another airing last weekend at QPR when United professionally ground-out their first win of the season at Loftus Road, and the hero that day David McGoldrick is due a warm reception from the visiting fans tomorrow thanks to his Ipswich Town connections.

McGoldrick, who missed Tuesday’s Carabao Cup clash with Hull City as a precaution after picking up a dead leg at QPR and later falling ill during the post-match media conference, is fit again to feature and will compete with Leon Clarke to partner skipper Billy Sharp up front.

George Baldock (ankle) is United’s only other definite absentee apart from Paul Coutts, who continues his comeback from a badly broken leg, while Wilder hopes Mark Duffy and two unnamed players recover from a virus in time to take their place against Norwich.

“We made a few changes on Tuesday, with Saturday in mind,” Wilder added, “and gave opportunities to the likes of Ryan Leonard and John Lundstram and Ben Woodburn.

“We felt that a couple needed to get up to speed - like Kieron Freeman because he’s not played in the first team at the start of the season, and John Egan and Duff also needed a game.

We put a strong team out that was enough to get through to the next round and apart from score, we did everything we could to win the game. Now we have to carry that on against Norwich.”

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