Sheffield United: Why Chris Wilder is ready to take risks

Chris Wilder thinks Sheffield United must take calculated gambles this season in order to gain promotion from League One.

Wednesday, 12th October 2016, 3:19 pm
Updated Tuesday, 25th October 2016, 5:57 pm
Sheffield United are on a long unbeaten run ©2016 Sport Image all rights reserved

United return to League One action against Port Vale this weekend hoping to stretch their unbeaten run in the competition to eight games.

Wilder’s team climbed to fourth in the table after snatching a last gasp draw at Fleetwood Town earlier this month and, speaking ahead of the meeting with Vale, he said: “It happens in football that sometimes you don’t get what you deserve. If that had happened at Fleetwood, we’d have all been scratching our heads. Yes, we were a little bit open at times but that was down to our desire to get back into the game.

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“We made one mistake, got punished and were chasing the game. But we chased it and got our reward for doing that.”

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Ethan Ebanks-Landell of Sheffield Utd celebrates scoring the equalising goal at Highbury. Pic Simon Bellis/Sportimage

Results elsewhere meant United slipped to eighth in the table when Saturday’s meeting with Walsall was postponed due to international call-ups. Ethan Ebanks-Landell, who scored United’s equaliser at Highbury after committing the error which led to Fleetwood’s goal, is expected to feature against Vale while Chris Basham is still unavailable due to suspension.

Although Wilder expressed reservations about some aspects of United’s display at Fleetwood, he said: “That’s what happens when you show character. Ethan made a mistake, he didn’t see their boy and passed it back.

“They sat in like the away team and, perhaps to begin with, it was a little bit too easy.

Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder ©2016 Sport Image all rights reserved

“We opened them up and opened them up but it’s not good doing that if you aren’t going to show quality in the final third. But I can’t be too critical of the players because it would have been quite easy to have got done on the counter. The lads showed good discipline in that regard and, if you stick together as a group, then that’s how things can turn out.”

Ethan Ebanks-Landell of Sheffield Utd celebrates scoring the equalising goal at Highbury. Pic Simon Bellis/Sportimage
Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder ©2016 Sport Image all rights reserved