Sheffield United: Chris Wilder points the finger after Carabao Cup upset

Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder accused his fringe players of blowing their chances of facing Liverpool this weekend, after watching them knocked out of the Carabao Cup by Sunderland.

Saturday, 28th September 2019, 10:44 am
Chris Wilder: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

Speaking after Max Power's first-half strike proved enough to see the League One club progress, Wilder admitted United's performance had effectively named his team for Saturday's meeting with the European champions.

"We didn't do enough and we didn't deserve to go through," a visibly frustrated Wilder said. "As (Burnley's) Shaun Dyche said when his boys went out in the last round, it's an opportunity for people to give the staff and nudge and they've not done that.

"The players have not taken their chance to knock on my door. I don't think any of them are really going to be knock on it tomorrow morning, asking me why they're not involved. That's their issue and their problem.

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Chris Wilder manager of Sheffield Utd reacts on the touchline during the Carabao Cup match at Bramall Lane, Sheffield. Picture date: 25th September 2019. Picture credit should read: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

"The one thing I do know after that is, (in the Premier League), I'm picking the right team."

Although Wilder absolved Mo Besic, Simon Moore of any responsibility for the result, together with substitutes Leon Clarke and Oli McBurnie, he cut an angry and exasperated figure during his post-match media conference.

With United's preparations for the visit of Jurgen Klopp's side beginning immediately, the 52-year-old admitted: "Maybe it's a change in my attitude because usually you guys, (the media), would be waiting here for me until 11.30 pm because I'd be down there ripping into them. To be honest, I'm not going to waste my energy ripping into them because we've got Liverpool coming up and I want to focus my energy on that."

Although Sunderland also made a raft of changes, Wilder explained he would have named a more recognisable starting eleven had the third round tie taken place 24 hours earlier.

Reflecting on a night which saw United blow a huge opportunity to progress into the later stages of a competition which has already lost a number of big names, he said: "If it had been last night, the team would probably have been different but the turnaround is so quick."