Sheffield United: The big change Blades boss thinks would pay huge dividends

Chris Wilder believes it is vital Sheffield United improve their training facilities after reaching the Premier League.

Friday, 31st May 2019, 3:44 pm
Updated Friday, 31st May 2019, 3:44 pm
Chris Wilder: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

Despite focusing his attention on strengthening Bramall Lane's squad ahead of the new season, the 51-year-old is also thought to be petitioning for a number of changes at the Steelphalt Academy after visiting several top-flight complexes last term.

The United manager believes introducing a number of changes, including refurbishing the changing rooms and dining area, could pay dividends in the transfer market. Particularly given he is now chasing a higher-calibre of player.

Although he has not spoken publicly on the subject for over a month, Wilder did raise the possibility of overhauling United's off the pitch operations during an interview alongside chief executive Steve Bettis last month.

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"Effectively, it's the lads' office," the 51-year-old said. "It (the training ground) is where they spend the majority of their time, preparing for matches and trying to improve themselves. Hopefully, one of the things we can do is make it better. You've always got to try and raise the bar in everything you do."

Several members of Wilder's side are known to have been struck by the difference between Burnley's new complex and their own during a visit to North-West midway through last term. Although they acknowledged that spending four of the past five seasons at top-flight level - United have not appeared there since 2007 -  meant Turf Moor's hierarchy could lavish £10m on the project, one, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told The Star he felt a number of ideas could easily be implemented at United if promotion was secured. They included hiring dietary experts and nutritional chefs.

"We've got to use what we've done as a platform to build for the future," Wilder said recently. "As well as try and take care of the here and now."