Sheffield United: Chris Wilder delivers his Premier League assessment

Chris Wilder, the Sheffield United manager, says he is delighted by the way his team has adapted to life in the Premier League but warned some of their toughest tests are yet to come as they attempt to establish themselves at the highest level.

Sunday, 6th October 2019, 12:56 pm
Updated Sunday, 6th October 2019, 11:40 pm
Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder during the Premier League match at Vicarage Road: Robin Parker/Sportimage
Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder during the Premier League match at Vicarage Road: Robin Parker/Sportimage

After returning to the top-flight for the first time in over a decade earlier this year, United enter the international break averaging more than the point per game usually required to achieve survival following a goalless draw with Watford.

With Arsenal next on the agenda, quickly followed by games against West Ham, Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United, Wilder's squad face arguably their most challenging sequence of fixtures since winning promotion when the competition resumes later this month.

Dismissing suggestions the result in Hertfordshire was a disappointment - Quique Sanchez Flores' side are languishing at the foot of the table - Wilder instead insisted it underlined United's character after suffering a gut-wrenching defeat to Liverpool seven days earlier.

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"We have to get precious points in the Premier League," he said. "And that's what they are; precious.

"Performance levels have been good but you can't play well and not come away with something. We've played okay to well today and come away with something, so that's adding to the total."

United travelled to Vicarage Road looking to bounce back from their loss to Jurgen Klopp's side, when Georginio Wijnaldum's fortuitous second-half strike proved enough to settle a surprisingly evenly-matched contest.

Highlighting some of the individual talents at Flores' disposal - including Argentina international and former Juventus forward Roberto Pereyra - Wilder added: "The players have always recovered from disappointment really quickly. This wasn't going to be an easy game, people might have overlooked that. Their manager is experienced enough and they've got some excellent players, established Premier League players.

"But there's a tinge of disappointment in there that we've not found that pass to get more. And I think that, the disappointment, says a lot about how the boys are doing."