Former Sheffield United and Leeds United player on Chris Wilder and ‘why the Blades have been so brilliant’

A man who has played for the Uniteds of Sheffield and Leeds has explained the reason for the Blades’ success under Chris Wilder.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 25 April, 2019, 22:01
Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder. Mike Egerton/PA Wire.

Shaun Derry turned out for both clubs in a lengthy and travelled career and having won promotion to the Premier League with Crystal Palace and QPR he’s well-placed to talk about the current Championship promotion race.

Shaun Derry in action for Sheffield United against Bradford

And it’s fair to say, he’s been impressed by what Chris Wilder has done at Bramall Lane.

Speaking on Talksport, Derry said that as well as proving to be tactically superb, the link as ‘one of their own’ has helped drive boyhood Blade Wilder and his team, to the cusp of the Promised Land.

He said: “For Sheffield United and in particular for Chris Wilder, Chris has had an outstanding 10 years in management.

“He's had teams promoted out of the Conference, League Two, League One with Sheffield United, double it up with the Championship and really deserves his chance (in the Premier League).

Shaun Derry celebrates scoring for Leeds United against West Ham in 2005

Derry added: “When you get promoted with a Sheffield United, a real spit and sawdust (club), ingrained with all this tradition and history, well they have got a guy at the helm who represents the fans.

“That's why they have been so brilliant over the last two years. He's managed to get this style of football that everybody believes in but it's like an ‘us against the world’, kind of mentality. Survival next year is everything for Sheffield United under Chris Wilder.”

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On Leeds, Derry said their faltering over the past week has proved to be devastating.

“There are certain games that you play in, the final run-in, the last 10 games it just becomes so important and the blow of Leeds United's loss to Brentford will have really hit them, I'm sure it would,” he said. “The magnitude of that football club in that city and what it carries for that city, everyone is willing them to get promoted and they've just slid at the wrong time.”

Derry went on to give a glimpse into what Sheffield United can expect next season should they confirm promotion and warned them not to fall into the same trap QPR did when he went up with the Londoners in 2011.

“When I was a player at QPR we got promoted with a similar type of dressing room and similar players as Sheffield United,” he told Russ Williams on Talksport.

“We were grounded, hard-working, we fought and died for each other on the pitch.

“When we got into the Premier League it got disbanded straight away and we got loads of signings from different shores, we spent too much and it went really against us.

“I don’t think Sheffield United or Norwich need to do that and I say that because I look at the bottom half of the Premier League and I think the top six (in the Championship ) can go into the Premier league and hold their own.

“I think the bottom half of the Premier League and the top half of the Championship, there's not much between them.”