Sheffield United: Chris Wilder identifies the one mistake he will not make as The Blades plot a long Premier League stay

The players responsible for delivering top-flight football to Bramall Lane will be given an opportunity to prove themselves in the Premier League, Chris Wilder has confirmed.

Tuesday, 18th June 2019, 4:33 pm
Updated Wednesday, 19th June 2019, 5:05 pm
Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder: Dave Howarth/PA Wire.

But speaking as his preparations for the new season continue, the Sheffield United manager has warned he is prepared to take "difficult decisions" in order to enhance the club's competitiveness at the highest level.

"The core group will be given a chance," Wilder said. "Then it's over to them.

"They know they have to up their game and we know (the staff) we have to up our games. But everyone is hugely excited about the challenge ahead."

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Wilder's comments come after it emerged he began researching the possibilities and potential pitfalls new top-flight teams face following United's promotion last term. Although the 51-year-old was already minded against making wholesale changes to their squad, fearing that would endanger the team spirit he has fostered since taking charge in 2016, Wilder's discussions with others who have made the step up cemented his belief it would be a mistake to completely overhaul the options at United's disposal. That means United are expected to focus on making a handful of carefully selected signings, designed to help rather than replace those already in situ.

Swansea City's Oli McBurnie and Brentford's Neal Maupay, who is also thought to have attracted interested from Seville, are among those who fit the profile Wilder devised earlier this summer. Both are known to feature on the list of possible acquisitions United's coaching staff presented to the board of directors last month, together with a select band of more experienced targets.

"There's plenty going on behind the scenes." Wilder said. "Obviously there's going to be changes, that's football. But we want to keep the group together and also keep what we've got off the pitch as well because I think that's been priceless."

"We've always tried to keep driving things forward," he added. "That's always been important and never more so than now, with what we're going into."

Chris Wilder and Billy Sharp celebrate promotion: Simon Bellis/Sportimage
Sheffield United won promotion last season: Danny Lawson/PA Wire.