Sheffield United: Blades boss issues an important statement ahead of Chelsea clash

Chris Wilder, the Sheffield United manager, has rubbished suggestions Saturday's visit to Chelsea represents a "free hit" for his team.

Thursday, 29th August 2019, 5:57 pm
Updated Thursday, 29th August 2019, 11:10 pm
Sheffield United travel to Stamford Bridge this weekend: John Walton/PA Wire.
Sheffield United travel to Stamford Bridge this weekend: John Walton/PA Wire.

The visit to Stamford Bridge marks the first time United have faced one of the Premier League's heavyweights since being promoted from the Championship last term.

Despite acknowledging the pedigree at Frank Lampard's disposal, Wilder provided an insight into the mindset his side has adopted after returning to the top-flight following a 12 year absence.

"We're going there with the same determination, the same drive and the same desire we always have," Wilder said. "Yes, we recognise that we're up against elite, international level footballers. But we're there to get a result. It's not a 'free hit'. I hate that phrase. Nothing is a free hit."

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Chelsea manager Frank Lampard (left) and assistant head coach Jody Morris: Steven Paston/PA Wire.

After making a solid start to the new season, United's hopes of beating the six-time title winners could be boosted by the fact Chelsea's squad remains in transition following Lampard's appointment earlier this summer. Last weekend's victory over Norwich City was their first success of the season, after being held to a draw by Leicester City and losing 4-0 to Manchester United.

Outlining his respect for Lampard's achievements - he won 13 major trophies with Chelsea as a player - Wilder said: "If we do get a result, it won't be our biggest ever. If we do get a result, it won't be the biggest shock ever in football. If you look at it, he was probably always destined to be manager there."

United have taken four points from their opening three matches and Wilder added: "These are the reasons why we wanted to land in the Premier League. Either Bournemouth or going to the capital to play a historic outstanding football team. They finished in the top four and are now under a manager, who is a legend at Chelsea, who will want to replicate what he did as a player as a manager."

Chris Wilder: Simon Bellis/Sportimage