Chris Wilder explains Sheffield United's on-field huddle after 2-0 Chelsea defeat at Stamford Bridge

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Chris Wilder addressed his Sheffield United players on the pitch after their 2-0 defeat to Chelsea

Chris Wilder has explained why he gathered his Sheffield United players in a post-match huddle on the Stamford Bridge pitch after their 2-0 defeat to Chelsea. Second-half goals from Cole Palmer and Nicolas Jackson sealed three points for the hosts, after the Blades successfully frustrated the Blues' superstars for the first 45 minutes.

United had moments of their own, with Cameron Archer firing just over and Jayden Bogle's delicious ball across the face of goal going unrewarded before Archer's second-half strike was chalked off after James McAtee narrowly failed to keep the ball in play. But Wilder was left to laud an inexperience to his side as they failed to build on their first-half showing with two similar goals from cut-backs down the Chelsea right.

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Wilder's decision to speak to his players on the pitch raised a few eyebrows from Unitedites, a move he explained afterwards. Asked if it was a rallying cry to his players, to not get too despondent, Wilder admitted: "Definitely. We brought down 3,000 supporters on a difficult day just before Christmas and they've stayed until the end. I thought it was important.

"I don't like when one player goes off to clap supporters on their own, if we're going to do it we go together. That's important to me and it was important that they quickly got that message because for a big period, we were in the game and we were fighting our way against an outstanding manager and some top individuals."

Mauricio Pochettino, the Chelsea manager, admitted afterwards that United had "frustrated" him and his players in the first 45 minutes - a key part of United's gameplan. "We can't go into a basketball game with these players because they're just going to kill us with their quality," Wilder added.

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"There's a reason why these players are part of a top club, even though Mauricio is still trying to find his best team I should imagine, to put his stamp on it. But he's a world-class manager and they've still, regardless, got some really good players and ones that can hurt you. They were hurting Man City about a month ago, so they're definitely going to hurt Sheff United."

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