Sheffield United: Chris Wilder tells Mark Duffy to keep on speaking his mind
Chris Wilder, the Sheffield United manager, has described Mark Duffy as one of the most influential players during his time in charge at Bramall Lane after telling the midfielder to keep on chipping away at coaching staff behind the scenes.
Duffy celebrated his return to the starting eleven by scoring the decisive goal of United's win over Rotherham and, speaking afterwards, Wilder paid tribute to the 33-year-old's contribution both on and off the pitch since arriving at the club in 2016.
"He rattles on at me if he doesn't play, he rattles on at me if he comes off," Wilder said.
"He's just a rattler really. But a good one.
"He doesn't do it in a selfish way. If you look at it, he's got to be one of the top three players here since we walked through the door."
After watching United's games against West Bromwich Albion and Sheffield Wednesday from the bench, Duffy justified his selection against Paul Warne's side by powering home during the closing stages following Jack O'Connell's early strike. The result saw United finish the weekend in third, two points behind second-placed Leeds who they face following Tuesday's tricky assignment against Brentford.
"He wants to play all the time but he can't, because this is Championship football," Wilder added. "We've got to manage players, plot a way through the course, and pick the right team. I think it's important we do that. They all want to play, which is great, and there are good players who don't deserve to be left out."