Debut set for Sheffield United new-boy as Chris Wilder protects 'spirited' players after defeat to Wolves

Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder wrapped a protective arm around his players after watching them start the new Premier League season with a home defeat by Wolverhampton Wanderers, despite expressing frustration at the manner of the goals they conceded.

Tuesday, 15th September 2020, 6:00 am

United’s defence was breached twice inside the opening six minutes, with Romain Saiss doubling the visitors’ advantage after Raul Jiminez had earlier opened the scoring.

Although Wilder’s side improved after the interval - John Fleck striking the foot of a post before Billy Sharp and Oli McBurnie also went close - they were unable to plot a course back into the contest, leaving the 52-year-old lamenting the poor decision making he believed contributed to their downfall but impressed by the desire his team showed.

“Listen, I hear all sorts of nonsense talked about spirit by people who think just because a few lads go out for a beer together that they’ve got in in abundance,” Wilder said.

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Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder refused to criticise his players after theri 2-0 defeat to Wolves at Bramall Lane

“If you want to know about spirit, then try being 2-0 down to a team like Wolves after six minutes because, with them being lethal on the counter, that is a huge test for anyone.

“I thought the boys showed they were brave, they didn’t go out there and hide and they kept on wanting the ball and trying to find a way back in.

“Of course there were things we could have done a lot better but Wolves didn’t see the game through with nine or 10 men - they couldn’t afford to have players coast through or go missing - and that showed the character our boys have got, which doesn’t surprise me one bit.”

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Although Wilder expressed his disappointment at the defensive errors which contributed to both of Wolves’ efforts, he chose to focus on United’s choice of pass in the final third during his post-match inquest.

Confirming new signing Oliver Burke will feature during Thursday’s EFL Cup tie at Burnley after watching the contest against Wolves from the bench, he also revealed United are making progress in their search for another centre-forward. Liverpool’s Rhian Brewster is known to be Wilder’s preferred choice.

“By showing a little bit more quality when we got into some really good positions, I actually think we could have got something from the game,” he said. “We created some really good chances once we’d got over that start, against opponents with so much quality and who are lethal on the counter. Seeing the lads have the bravery to do that didn’t surprise me one bit.”

“There’s still things to work on but we’ve given ourselves something to build on, with how we responded. The lads know what they’re capable of and what they can do. We want to keep driving ourselves on and we’ll dust ourselves down and come back. I’ve got non doubt about it because I know what the lads are like.”

Wilder also revealed that striker Lys Moussett will be out for a number of weeks after damaging a tendon under his toe.

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