Chris Wilder lays down the law as Sheffield United prepare to enter the final 10 games of their Premier League season
Sheffield United have been told it is still vitally important they finish this season on a high despite appearing destined for relegation from the Premier League, with Chris Wilder warning results between now and the end of the campaign could influence how the club performs at the beginning of next term.
Twelve points adrift of safety with only 10 games remaining, United are refusing to concede defeat in the battle for survival but still beginning to prepare for a return to the Championship with Wilder already beginning to outline plans for a summer makeover of Bramall Lane’s first team squad.
Having admitted that resigning themselves to the drop would be a betrayal of both United’s principles and also their supporters, Wilder admits it is vital spirits remain high behind the scenes as he attempts to orchestrate what would be the greatest rescue act in the competition’s history.
But even if United’s fate is eventually sealed, Wilder remains convinced their performances over the next two months will have a bearing on those they deliver at the beginning of the 2021/22 campaign.
“How will the finish to this season shape the next? I think it always has a bearing, no matter what happens,” Wilder, the United manager, said. “That’s how we go about it.
I don’t think there’s any game that’s just a pre-season friendly. Even in thoise, there’s always something on it.
“If we want to hit the ground running, a big end of season is better to one that’s not so big. I’m not talking about reflections when there are still games of this season (left) to play. I’m not getting drawn into that. What I will say, though, is that whatever happens, we want to finish strongly.”
United will attempt to bounce back from last weekend’s defeat by Southampton when they visit Leicester City on Sunday. Well-placed to qualify for the Champions League, Brendan Rodgers’ side could welcome back Ayoze Perez and Jonny Evans following injury. United hope defender Chris Basham will be available for selection after making progress in his fight to recover from the hamstring complaint he sustained at Fulham last month.