Chris Wilder says Sheffield United have rediscovered their identity despite Man City defeat

Chris Wilder believes Sheffield United have rediscovered their identity a little in recent weeks after two encouraging displays in Manchester against two of the best sides in the Premier League.

Saturday, 30th January 2021, 5:51 pm

United followed up a remarkable 2-1 victory at Manchester United in midweek with a spirited display in a 1-0 defeat to Manchester City this afternoon.

City went ahead early in the game when Gabriel Jesus took advantage of some sloppy defending to convert from close range in the ninth minute, but United stayed in the game and could have got back into it when John Fleck's volley went just wide of the post.

And Wilder, whose side face relegation rivals West Bromwich Albion at Bramall Lane on Tuesday night, said: "There's no pat on the back for a defeat but I think there's a manner to do it.

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"It's been a stop-start season for us but I've seen a bit of a change in us over the last two or three weeks, getting back our identity a little.

"It's something to build on and as Pep Guardiola said before the game, he was looking at a team that was alive. I think we are alive and still got plenty in us."

City dominated possession against Wilder's men but couldn't find a second goal, with Blades goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale making an impressive save late on to stop Jesus adding a second.

"They're an incredible side," Wilder added.

Phil Foden of Manchester City talks to Chris Wilder manager of Sheffield United after the Premier League match at the Etihad Stadium: Darren Staples/Sportimage

"They're fluent players and pop up in weird and wonderful positions. They test you and move you about, but we're incredibly disappointed with the manner of their goal.

"They could take you to the cleaners after an early goal, but they didn't. I wish Pep and his team all the best and looking forward to not playing them again this season."

Guardiola, Wilder's opposite number, felt that facing United will be City's toughest game of the season.

"I woke up this morning, went out of my building and saw it was windy, and we said it would be the toughest game we play this season," the former Barcelona manager said.

"When you see Sheffield United at the bottom of the league, you realise why it's the toughest league in the world."