"It’s difficult for the manager to pick the team up after results like this" - what former Manchester City star and other pundits said after Sheffield United's defeat to Leicester City
Sheffield United’s season shows no signs of getting better after they suffered late heartbreak in the 2-1 defeat to Leicester City at Bramall Lane yesterday.
The Blades were on course to pick up only their second point of the campaign before being sunk by Jamie Vardy’s 90th minute strike – leaving Chris Wilder’s side six points shy of safety at the foot of the Premier League.
Speaking to the media after the game, Wilder provided an honest assessment of his side's current plight.
“I've got the a*seache with people saying about fine lines and this that and the other,” he said.
"We're a losing team at the minute, whether cruel or deserved.
"If we make good decisions it's a good point against a side that's gone well recently and has a lot of good players."
But what did the pundits make of yet another United’s latest setback? Let’s take a look.
Gary Neville, former Manchester United and England defender speaking on the Gary Neville Podcast about the Blades’s defending for Vardy’s winner
"Unfortunately, and the fans won't like to hear this, you've just got to trip him up. Get the red card, save your team the points and think about it another day.
"He didn't, he actually got himself out of the way, he pulled back, a very honest thing to do, which demonstrates a level of integrity.
"But I think you have to pull him down, it's what I would have done."
Stephen Warnock, former Liverpool defender and guest on Sky Sports’ The Football Show
"Personally I don’t think (Chris Wilder’s future) should be questioned at all. I think he’s done more than enough to warrant time at the club and a chance to turn things around.
"This is the industry that he’s in. Football is a results driven industry. People don’t look at the injuries, they don’t look at the previous three or four years – they look at the previous three or four weeks and that’s how they judge it.
"He is a fantastic manager and he needs time to be able to change things around and be given that opportunity.”
Sue Smith, former England forward and guest on Sky Sports’ The Football Show
"I really felt for them because you just thought it was going to be a real hard-fought draw and then Jamie Vardy went through and we know what happened after that. You could see how raw it was for Chris Wilder.
"At the end of the game I listened to his interview and he couldn’t find any positives. He was just saying ‘we’re a losing team, I’m a losing manager’.
"You could just see that raw emotion, which he’s bound to have. I just think they miss Jack O’Connell so much.
"They have had injuries but I think he’s been key – obviously defensively – but also how they start the move going forward from a defensive position. You can’t fault their workrate or their endeavour, but they need to start picking up results and picking them up quickly.”
Darius Vassell, former Manchester City striker and Sky Sports News studio guest
“Sheffield United did have opportunities but the final ball just lacked that bit of quality and I really feel for Wilder. It’s difficult for the manager to pick the team up after results like this. He’s got that task going into a difficult Christmas period.
"What I do know is that he’s a good manager and that the team I have just watched, they played as a team, they defended as a team, they attacked as a team but they just lacked a bit of quality in certain areas.
"But they were doing everything as a team and I just think that that once a team takes these kind of knocks emotionally in games, it is draining. It’s funny how in the 90th minute, when of your best players has a bad first touch, that becomes the difference. I think concentration and things like that need to be looked into.”
Alex Scott, former England defender and Sky Sports studio guest
"I am sitting here and feel heartbroken and deflated for them because of the fight they showed to get back into the game and (what) holding on (would have done for them) and the confidence that they would have taken – but just one mistake allows Leicester to win the game and you lose it just like that.
"That’s how easy it is – fine margins in a football match.”
Jermaine Jenas, former England midfielder and Match of the Day pundit
"Sheffield United pride themselves on taking responsibility and last year it was all good and it was all going well and they were together.
"Well, now is the time for them to come together. There were some games earlier in the season where I thought they’ve been really unlucky, but actually right now they haven’t deserved anything out of the games and it’s time for them to come together and try and get something out of the next few games.”
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