Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder faced the media at Bramall Lane this afternoon ahead of the big Sheffield Derby against Sheffield Wednesday tomorrow evening.
Here’s a run down of the key talking points from the press conference.
Mark Duffy: He’s fit, and we’ve got everyone raring to go. Had a great week, everybody’s fit and no-one’s in the treatment room. Everyone’s trained at full-tilt and I’ve had some difficult decisions to make. Hopefully our best team is enough to win. Duffy has been important player throughout my time here, lost a bit of momentum while he’s been out so him coming back is great, same with Basham, and difficult decisions have to be made
The Steel City Derby: I don’t know where that’s come from. It’s the Sheffield Derby for me.
Named team? Yes. Always do it in advance, they have to get their heads around it those that are playing and those who aren’t, always done it that way to give them preparation time.
Forest: Weren’t at our maximum, no disgrace to get beat there but we weren’t at our best against a team of talented individuals. A great game for us, this, as we want to get back to the standards we set.
Basham contract: Fully deserved, we reward in our own way with length and lift for what he’s done since he’s been here and it’s a show to the other players that we will reward them. We’re planners in our own way, and Bash has been outstanding ever since we walked through the door.
What does derby mean to CW? Certainly biggest derby I know, for me my pals family and everyone connected to this football club, we'll respect the opposition and talented individuals they've got, we haven’t been sucked in by the stuff about two or three players not being available, we’ve prepared as if they’re at very full tilt with all their superstars and big hitters available. This is our derby.
What does this game mean? It’s for us, what we’ve been brought up with through our lifetimes and going back over 100 years and well over 100 games. It doesn’t just represent myself or Billy Sharp or anyone who’s played for Wednesday from the city, it gets a grip of you and it’s fierce or lively, in homes and workplaces and pals and mates, it takes a grip of everyone. I can understand the Liverpool or Glasgow rivalry but this is our derby and for us, is the biggest by far.
What are you expecting? Anyone who’s watched us will expect us to be on the front foot and take the handbrake off, go after the opposition and understand they have some superstars in this division. We’ve built our team on the collective and attitude and enthusiasm, on and off the ball. I expect them to approach it like they did last year, that’s not to say they won’t want to win, but from our point of view nothing will change. We’ll go for it.
Expectation? Not bothered about Wednesday’s curve, only ours and our progression. Delighted with our start and their attitudes, we’ve had a good start as one of their players put it, so I’m delighted on that and we’ve got to keep it going. I respect their players and their manager, it was a tough old game last season here and I wasn’t happy with the way we played, so I’m looking for us to be better. A lot of good things are happening at this club, on and off the pitch, so let’s keep that going. Improve and kick on.
What will final message be? There won’t be one. I won’t need to motivate any of those players. There’ll be subtle reminders of what we expect but the players know what it’s about and we’ve had a really good week. If we’re good, we’ll be a difficult team to hold back and that’s what I’ll be looking for us to do.