Chris Wilder says Sheffield United can come roaring back from this season - on one condition

Chris Wilder insists that Sheffield United will come “roaring back” from the disappointment of this season in the future – as long as they stick to the model he says the club adopted when they won promotion to the Premier League in the first place.

Monday, 1st March 2021, 5:00 pm

Wilder’s Blades are staring relegation back to the Championship in the face, sitting bottom of the table and 15 points from safety with just 12 games remaining.

While the manager has not thrown in the towel yet, he admits that it will be a remarkable feat to escape now. Sunday’s defeat to the reigning champions Liverpool was United’s 21st in 26 games so far.

With many Blades fans now accepting their side’s fate, thoughts have begun to turn to the Championship and what is, on the face of it, a nucleus of a good Championship squad. Oli McBurnie and Rhian Brewster both have recent experience of scoring goals there for Swansea, while the likes of John Fleck, David McGoldrick and Ollie Norwood have tasted success at that level in the past.

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Wilder revealed after the Liverpool game that buying Championship talent – and having one eye on a return to the second tier – is the Blades’ “model”. It is part by necessity and part by design; United can’t afford proven top-level talent anyway, and relegation should not trigger a mass exodus of players pushing to leave if and when it is confirmed.

“Our model is 17th in the division, at best, and buying the best Championship players,” Wilder said.

“We set up to buy the best from the Championship, which we felt we have done, and if we do take that drop, we have to regroup and come again. Which I’m sure we will do next season.

“It’s tough to take because we’ve had a lot of good times, but the club will be fine if we stick to a plan and do what we set out to.

Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder gestures on the touchline during the Premier League match at Bramall Lane, Sheffield: Oli Scarff/PA Wire.

“There’s no disgrace in failure. It’s disappointing, but the club will bounce back, as it always has done.

“This is a tough time but we’ll come roaring back, if we stick to the model and the plan that we set out to do.”