Sheffield United: Determination and desire saw Blades through against Swindon, says boss Chris Wilder

Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder has attributed his team's lead at the top of the League One table to 'determination' and 'desire' after watching them take another step towards promotion.

Wednesday, 15th March 2017, 5:00 am
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 9:37 am
Sheffield United's Paul Coutts celebrates scoring his side's fourth against Swindon. Pic David Klein/Sportimage

Second-half goals from Jay O’Shea and Paul Coutts saw the visitors remain eight points clear of second-placed Fleetwood Town with only nine matches remaining after Swindon Town had threatened a major upset at the County Ground last night.

Although Wilder admitted United’s performance was not their most accomplished of the season, he said: “Ultimately, it’s all about winning football matches. That’s what people are really bothered about. And, no matter what position they find themselves in, these lads have shown the determination and desire to do that.

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“Okay, we made it hard for ourselves out there at times. We probably should have put the match to bed much earlier than we did. But, judging by the reaction of the fans who came down to support us, I don’t think they are too bothered about the details. We can look at those, myself and the staff. Basically, it’s all about taking the points.”

United appeared on course for a comfortable victory when Caolan Lavery and Kieron Freeman handed them a 2-0 half-time lead. But Swindon, now seven points from safety, dragged themselves level when Charlie Colkett and Ben Gladwin, on loan from Chelsea and Queens Park Rangers respectively, scored soon after the break.

“I don’t think it was a case of getting caught cold or not thinking it was all over,” Wilder, who saw Coutts convert a late penalty after O’Shea had restored United’s advantage, continued. “Sometimes, you’ve just got to give credit to the opposition; they were two really good strikes that we couldn’t do anything about. Listen, everyone we play has got something to fight for and Swindon certainly fought for their manager.

“But we’ve shown we are prepared to fight too and, as I’ve always maintained, it’s about finding ways to win from different situations. Which is what we’ve done again.”

Wilder, meanwhile, revealed Lavery had been withdrawn as a precaution after reporting “tightness at the top of his hamstring” just before the hour.

“We didn’t want to take any chances with that,” Wilder added. “But it’s nothing, Caolan will be okay.”

Meanwhile, United’s under-18’s have won the Professional Development League 2 North title after beating Sheffield Wednesday at Middlewood Road. Jordan Hallam and Horatio Hurst scored their goals.