‘Just be better’ - Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder’s challenge to his Blades after 2-1 defeat at Derby County

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Manager Chris Wilder urged his Sheffield United players to ‘be better’ after their 2-1 defeat at Derby County this evening.

Goals from Craig Bryson and Jack Marriott sealed victory for Derby, either side of Chris Basham’s equaliser for the Blades following great work from John Fleck.

And Wilder, whose side missed the chance to go clear at the top of the Championship but remain joint second behind Middlesbrough on goal difference, admitted he took no comfort from suggestions his side had been involved in an absorbing contest in front of the Sky Sports cameras.

“I don’t buy into all that,” Wilder said.

“We’ve lost a game of football, and it’s never good when that happens.

”People say ‘ah put an arm round them’ but when my uncle or brother go to work, no one puts an arm around them.

Chris Wilder gesticulates on the touchline at Derby

Chris Wilder gesticulates on the touchline at Derby

”They’ve lost a game of football, do better. Stop the cross, defend properly both centre halves. When we go forward, Mark Duffy and the boys at the top of the pitch, be better.

“Be better and finish good play off, because we’ve got some good players.”

United return to action against Stoke City on Tuesday night at Bramall Lane.

“It's a great result for Frank [Lampard] and Derby and a poor one for us,” Wilder added.

"It was a tight game between two really good sides and they found their moment..

"Derby were better than us second half. We lost control of the game a little bit but I thought we were really good in the first.

"We were really good and should have found that last bit to go in at half-time up in the game, but we didn't and they came back.

"I've no complaints about the second half and the result overall because if you defend like that and don't put teams to bed the result can go either way."