Sheffield United: Chris Wilder breaks the habit of a lifetime by admitting he ‘loved’ something Sheffield Wednesday did
Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder has revealed how a piece of footballing chicanery during this week's derby against Sheffield Wednesday nearly ended his team's run of clean sheets.
United enter this weekend's game against Rotherham having last conceded a goal on February 8, when Aston Villa's Andre Green scored an added time equaliser for Dean Smith's side.
With Monday's visit to Hillsborough finishing 0-0, United's back three has now gone over six-and-a-half hours of football without being breached although Wednesday's Sam Hutchinson spurned a glorious chance to shatter that record after finding himself unmarked inside the box during the second-half.
Wilder, explaining why United's John Fleck had failed to clear the ball before it was collected by Hutchinson, said: "The shape against Sheffield Wednesday was good. It was a bit of cheekiness that got them their big chance.
"Sam Hutchinson shouted 'goalkeeper's' and Flecky left it. I quite like that to be honest. I wouldn't have liked it if he'd have bloody scored. But I quite like that because it was sharp and bright. I thought it was brilliant."
United have a full strength squad at their disposal for their meeting with Rotherham after John Egan and Jack O'Connell reported no ill effects following their appearances against Wednesday. Both men had undergone treatment for injuries before the fixture while George Baldock could be declared available for selection after missing the match with a calf problem.
"We're not strung out as a team," Wilder said. "We try to press, we try to get up the pitch but we also try to stay compact and recover well.
"We want to go forward and drive the opposition's best players back. But we always have to be hard to break down as a team."