Sheffield United: ‘Never doubt the bravery and desire of my boys,’ Chris Wilder says after crucial win over Leeds United

Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder and Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa (second left) at Elland Road: Richard Sellers/PA Wire.
Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder and Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa (second left) at Elland Road: Richard Sellers/PA Wire.

Chris Wilder, the Sheffield United manager, said his team had proved its balls by scoring a crucial victory over Leeds in the battle for automatic promotion from the Championship.

United climbed to second, a point above Marcelo Bielsa's side with eight matches remaining, after Chris Basham's second-half goal settled a frenetic Yorkshire derby at Elland Road.

Coming only four days after they survived Gary Madine's sending-off to beat Brentford, Wilder attributed the win to courage and desire having seen the visitors come under sustained pressure during the opening period of the contest.

"It was a full on big b******s performance by everybody," he said. "There were some tired boys out there from Tuesday night. It took a hell of a lot out of us. It was heavy.

"They were brighter and more energetic than us to begin with and we had to dig deep. The boys came up with the answers."

Although they later refused to deny the significance of result, both Wilder and his opposite number Marcelo Bielsa insisted it is still far too early to predict how the rest of the season will unfold. United return to action following the international break with a home game against Bristol City while Leeds host Millwall.

Wilder, who led United to promotion from League One two years ago, said: "We have not had a lot to shout about over quite a big period. No one can look at our fans and begrudge them a chance to sing about the team. 

"They were amazing, our support, in a very lively frantic, enthusiastic, hostile place. You have to man up on and off the pitch and my boys did that out there."

"Listen, if we'd have lost then it would have been difficult but not impossible," he added. "But we didn't and we showed that determination to put bodies on the line and come up with the answers to questions we are posed.

"That's got to continue because there's a lot of points to play for yet and nothing is certain. We won't be taking anything for granted because you can't take anything for granted at this level. Nothing."