Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder reveals thinking behind leaving out key duo Mark Duffy and Billy Sharp

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Chris Wilder, the Sheffield United manager, has revealed his thinking behind key selection decisions after United's below-par start to the new Championship season.

United slipped to the bottom of the table after their 3-0 defeat at Middlesbrough on Tuesday evening, which came days after their opening-day loss at home to Swansea.

And, ahead of tomorrow's trip to QPR, a section of Blades fans have clamoured for Mark Duffy to start after an impressive cameo at the Riverside, and for skipper Billy Sharp to be restored to the starting line-up.

And Wilder, whose side travelled to London earlier today, said: "We set up a shape in midfield to play a three, and it worked well in pre-season against Inter Milan so we felt that was the shape we wanted to work with.

"Duff has to be patient and wait for his chance. We're judged on the results and possibly if we'd won on Saturday, there wouldn't be such a clamour for him to start.

"David McGoldrick has done well so far and in pre-season we felt he'd be the best partner for Leon, and we live and die by our decisions.

"We've got a group of players desperate to get in the team and be part of it, and Duff is a crowd favourite. He did something last season that gave him God-like status at the club, and Billy's the same.

"I get it, that's opinion and if I've picked the right side over the last two seasons I get credit, as we've got decent results. But if not, I'm open to criticism. That's football.

"I've been in tougher situations than this over my career and I've said to the players that we have to show what we're about now. There's a bit of doubt flying about and we have to turn that around."

Mark Duffy

Mark Duffy