Sheffield United: Chris Wilder reveals what he will tell his team before tomorrow's game against Blackburn Rovers

Moments before October's visit to Ewood Park, a match which saw Sheffield United become the first away team to win a league fixture there for over 13 months, Chris Wilder delivered a message to his players.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 28th December 2018, 11:45 am
Updated Wednesday, 9th January 2019, 1:49 am
Billy Sharp scored twice at Ewood Park in October: Simon Bellis/Sportimage
Billy Sharp scored twice at Ewood Park in October: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

"I told them we'd had a great result last time out," he remembered yesterday. "So we've got to make sure we back it up with another big performance."

Twelve weeks after Billy Sharp's brace put Blackburn Rovers to the sword, 48 hours on from Boxing Day's victory over Derby County, Wilder issued exactly the same directive as United prepare to renew their rivalry with Tony Mowbray's side.

Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder wants his team to "follow up" its win over Derby County: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

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"We always respected the team coming up, Blackburn," Wilder said ahead of tomorrow's meeting at Bramall Lane. "There are quite a lot of similarities between them and us. They didn't have a struggle straight away after coming back into the Championship.

'They went in and enjoyed it from the off. But yes, it was a big night. We had a good week, winning there after beating Millwall and then going on to get past Hull. You've got to try and follow good results up with another and then another."

Wilder's respect for Mowbray quickly became apparent when he previewed the fixture with the region's media this morning. Praising  his counterpart's ability to guide Rovers straight back up after being relegated from the Championship - "Never an easy thing to do" - he went on to insist the visitors would not have gone down in the first place had they appointed the 55-year-old a shade earlier.

"If Tony had had another week or two, I think they'd have stayed up because their results at the end of the relegation were play-off form. Historically, they are a powerful club."

Blackburn Rovers manager Tony Mowbray brings his team to Bramall Lane this weekend: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire.

Although Rovers have struggled to maintain their early season promise, Wednesday's defeat by Leeds was the second in a row, Wilder cited the presence of Bradley Dack, Danny Graham and one-time target Darragh Lenihan as evidence of the "quality" Mowbray has at his disposal after "keeping and then improving" most of his "best" names.

With that in mind, United's manager was pleased to report a few "minor bumps and bruises" were the sum total of the injuries his squad sustained during its clash with County.

Describing the atmosphere during that match as "the finest" he has experienced since being appointed in May 2016, Wilder urged the home crowd to recreate it during United's remaining 12 appearances on home soil this term as, after climbing to fourth in the table, they look to secure a top six finish.

"Bramall Lane is a special place for any game in my eyes," Wilder, a lifelong United supporter, said. "But when it's like that, with the supporters, it's a difficult place to get a result. 

"We've got what, 11 home games after this? They come pretty quick and they go pretty quick. 

"We've been disappointed with the draws against Stoke City and Sheffield Wednesday, which we definitely should have won. But we want that support, to be the dominant force at home."

"We have to look after our own business first," he added. "When we play well. we're a dangerous side for anyone.

"The players were focused before and during the game as well. It was as good an afternoon as I can remember.

"Supporters aren't daft. They can feel that just as much as myself and the players."