Injuries, Rhian Brewster and European Premier League talk: Key talking points from Sheffield United's pre-Liverpool press conference

Chris Wilder and defender Jack Robinson faced the media this morning ahead of Sheffield United's clash with Premier League champions Liverpool this weekend.

Thursday, 22nd October 2020, 11:47 am

Topics including Lys Mousset, social media abuse and washbags were discussed on the Zoom meeting, as the Blades look to build on winning their first point of the Premier League season at home to Fulham on Sunday.

Injury update

Wilder expects to see Lys Mousset "back on the grass", as he says, in six to eight weeks, while John Fleck is sidelined for a fair while with a back problem and Jack O'Connell is out for the long-term after undergoing surgery on his knee.

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The United manager was quizzed about Liverpool's injury problems, with Virgil van Dijk also set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines after his own knee problem.

But Wilder made the point that missing Mousset, Fleck and O'Connell is relatively a bigger blow than Liverpool losing the Dutch defender.

Brewster could be let off the leash

Wilder said he would have "no hesitation" giving Brewster his full Premier League debut, against his old club, but added that he has to guard against risking an injury to a player who isn't perhaps fully up to speed with how United play just yet.

Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

"He's pushing," Wilder said of his £23m signing.

"His natural ability and talent is there to be seen, it's just a physical side of it. The big decision is the timing, but a week's training won't have done him any harm. He's been bright and bubbly, and definitely in our thoughts to play on Saturday."

Robinson knows what's needed

Last season, United prided themselves on their miserly defence but thanks to a raft of injuries, have been unable to keep the same consistency at the back so far.

One man who will benefit from injuries to Jack O'Connell and Max Lowe is Robinson, who is likely to play at left-centre half after coming off the bench against Fulham.

"We've not been clinical in front of goal and haven't kept as many clean sheets as we'd like," he said this morning.

"Last year the defence was solid and kept plenty of clean sheets, it hasn't been that way this season. It's little things we need to work on and we're doing that."

Wilder not a fan of European Premier League nonsense

The Blades boss was asked for his take on news that Liverpool and Manchester United were reportedly in discussions to join a European Premier League recently.

Wilder said he had all on looking after United at the minute, and hasn't taken too much interest in it.

But he made his feelings clear last week on the subject when Project Big Picture reared its ugly head, and is a firm believer in the strength of the football pyramid in this country.

"We have to look after that," he said.

"Clubs have their own agendas and are driven by their owners who can take their club where they want. It's a unique, fabulous pyramid and sure everyone will do what they need to do to keep that consistent going forward."