Sheffield United: Why Blades boss Chris Wilder reckons his side are a formidable Championship proposition
As Storm Aileen battered the Macron Stadium from what felt like all angles, Chris Wilder conceded Sheffield United's performance against Bolton on Tuesday night was also a little under the weather.
But the Blades boss paid particular tribute to his side’s character after they made the trip back to South Yorkshire with all three points, after Cameron Carter-Vickers’ debut goal sealed their fourth successive league victory and lifted them to third in the Championship.
“It was a great result, a fantastic result,” Wilder beamed.
“You can’t always be at your best and we didn’t play as well as we have done before. But to back up what we did at the weekend [beating Sunderland at the Stadium of Light] showed fantastic character.
“We knew Bolton would come out firing and that if we didn’t compete and defend set plays, we’d get hurt.
“We haven’t broken the play up as we might have done and so that’s a touch disappointing, but the character was excellent.”
Carter-Vickers, the on-loan Tottenham Hotspur defender, was one of four fresh faces in the United line-up as Chris Basham was denied his 150th start for the Blades by a slight muscle injury.
George Baldock, Daniel Lafferty and Leon Clarke also returned to Wilder’s starting eleven at Bolton and the 49-year-old added: “To freshen it up, because the Championship is Saturday, Tuesday, was very pleasing.
“Cameron was unfortunate not to get a second goal but he defended fantastically well.
“Listen, Gary Madine has taken a bit of stick but he’s a powerful and dangerous player for the opposition, he’s a good player. Cam has dealt with a very difficult opponents.
“George and Dan, the two wing-backs, did every so well too. Especially when you consider they’ve not started much.
“Leon also came back and led the line really well.
“The opposition, credit to them, are fighting for their lives. They are proud people and they’ve got proud people out on the pitch. So, if we didn’t play as well as we’d might, you’ve got to give credit to them for that.”
Clayton Donaldson, who scored twice on his debut at Sunderland, missed out with a tight hamstring but could feature on Saturday when Norwich visit Bramall Lane.
“Clayton could be available,” Wilder revealed.
“We’ll get back to Sheffield and see. We’re a bit light on bodies at the top end of the pitch.”