Chris Wilder reveals Sheffeld United's unsung heroes during the coronavirus pandemic
Sheffield United’s club doctors have been praised for ensuring Bramall Lane’s first team squad could return to work at the Steelphalt Academy earlier this week.
With both the size of the complex and the facilities on site presenting a series of challenges for Chris Wilder and his staff, United’s manager revealed the expertise of people including Subhashis Basu and Alex Worthington proved invaluable as they sought to comply with the Premier League’s social distancing protocols.
Although the sight of Wilder’s players resuming small sided sessions has dominated the news agenda over the last 48 hours - particularly given they were only five points outside the Champions League places when the season was mothballed in March due to the Covid-19 pandemic - he reminded: “The doctors, I’ve got to say, have been magnificent.
“To get the club up and running again, they’ve been part of it all the way and we wouldn’t have been able to do it without them.
“I always remind people that football clubs are about more than what happens on a Saturday afternoon. They’re about the people behind the scenes, who often don’t want or get a lot of publicity, but who play a huge part in making sure everything we do is possible.”
Seventh in the table before English football entered lockdown, United hope this week’s developments mean it will be possible to resume competition on June 12 - the date being targeted by the architects of ‘Project Restart’.
After all testing negative for the respiratory disease before reporting for duty 48 hours ago, Wilder’s side will undergo another round of screening tomorrow. Players must also follow a strict route around the academy as they prepare for training and report any symptoms before they leave home.
Independent observers will shortly be assigned to every top-flight club to check they are also adhering to rules governing the timescale of their sessions.
“They’ve been tough workouts,” Wilder said. “An enormous amount of credit has to go to the doctors for making sure everything is safe and ready for us to use."