'It's on me, too' - Chris Wilder's taking some of the rap for poor form after Sheffield United's defeat to Man Utd
Chris Wilder, the Sheffield United manager, admitted he has some “serious thinking” to do ahead of this weekend’s FA Cup quarter-final against Arsenal after watching his team continue its disappointing return to Premier League action.
Speaking after an Anthony Martial hat-trick condemned United to a 3-0 defeat at Manchester United last night, Wilder refused to make excuses for what he described as another substandard display.
Admitting he is not exempt from criticism himself - “I can effect it, so I have to take it on the chin as well” - Wilder yet again expressed concerns about his team’s performances since competition resumed earlier this month.
“We can’t change it on the training ground,” Wilder said, after watching his side concede three times without reply for the second time in two outings. “The turnaround is so quick that we don’t get the time to work on the faults there. There is a lot of thought and a lot of serious thinking to do though.”
“Most importantly, the players have got to get their heads around it though,” Wilder continued. “Because, at the moment, we’ve got some really good players who are nowhere near it. I’ll be a part of that as well because I have the ability to change and effect it. I have to take that criticism on the chin which I will do.”
United, missing Dean Henderson, John Egan and Jack O’Connell, found themselves trailing 2-0 at the interval when Martial bookended the opening period with two clinical finishes. The Frenchman’s third arrived midway through the second period, with Wilder praising the quality of Manchester United’s approach work but again lamenting his side’s attention to detail.
With Mikel Arteta’s men scheduled to arrive at Bramall Lane on Sunday afternoon, Wilder, who saw centre-forward Lys Mousset failed to reappear after the break because of injury, said: “We, and I include myself in that, were well off the pace. People will be looking at our defensive record, which was right up there with the best in the division, and wondering how have we got that? They’ll be shaking their heads.”
After drawing with Aston Villa last week and then losing to Newcastle, United have now taken only a point from their last three outings. They were unbeaten in six in all competitions when football was suspended because of the Covid-19 pandemic in March.
“We have to sort it, because I don’t want us going off a cliff,” Wilder said, after watching United finish the contest in eighth.
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