Sheffield United: Chris Basham's sending-off will not prompt a change of approach at Bramall Lane

Chris Wilder will not order Sheffield United's players to curb their competitive natures in the wake of Chris Basham's sending-off, insisting "physicality" is integral to how his squad approaches games.

By The Newsroom
Monday, 31st December 2018, 11:13 am
Updated Wednesday, 9th January 2019, 2:33 am
Chris Basham will miss the game against Wigan Athletic: Simon Bellis/Sportimage
Chris Basham will miss the game against Wigan Athletic: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

Basham is scheduled to miss tomorrow's visit to Wigan Athletic after being dismissed against Blackburn Rovers last weekend, with both the United manager and captain Billy Sharp later insisting the defender had been harshly treated by referee Anthony Taylor.

Although Basham's absence has wrecked Wilder's plans to name an unchanged starting eleven for the fifth match in a row, the 51-year-old has no plans to speak to his squad ahead of the trip to Greater Manchester.

"Physicality is part of football," Wilder said. "We want our players to be physical because it's a physical game.

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"Okay, you don't want to see people going over the top on someone else or doing anything stupid. I don't think we do, I don't think we roll around when we get tackled or stuff like that because we accept it for what it is; a key part of football."

"The way we play, at intensity, being physical is so important," he added. "I don't think we've done anything wrong and I don't think Bash did either. But it is what it is."

Like Tony Mowbray, his counterpart at Rovers, Wilder was frustrated by referee Anthony Taylor's handling of Saturday's match, which saw United collect six yellow and one red card en route to a 3-0 win. Taylor, who usually takes charge of top-flight fixtures, also handed Rovers' Richie Smallwood his marching orders and booked Kasey Palmer for a dive.

Andrew Madley, who primarily works in the Championship, is set to oversee the meeting with Athletic.

Despite his phlegmatic disposition, losing Basham has presented Wilder with a major problem for the meeting with Paul Cook's side.

The centre-half has emerged as the most attack-minded member of United's back three this season and his over-lapping runs from deep lying positions are one of the hallmarks of a pioneering system which has lifted Wilder's squad to fourth in the table; four points behind Norwich City, who occupy the second automatic promotion berth.

"We've got good players who haven't been able to get in there in recent weeks," Wilder, who is expected to task Martin Cranie with the job of deputising for Basham, said. "It's a chance for one of them to step up."