Sheffield United: 'If they think that's all we're about, they haven't watched us!' – Wilder rubbishes ‘one trick pony’ jibe
Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder has rubbished claims his team are 'one trick ponies' as they prepare to reacqaint themselves with the Premier League.
Despite preparing for their first taste of top-flight football since 2007, United and their coaching staff have pledged not to abandon the attacking approach which helped them finish second in the Championship last term.
Although that has prompted some critics to suggest Wilder's team do not possess the tactical acumen to stifle some of the most expensive centre-forwards in the world, the 51-year-old believes their scepticism betrays a misunderstanding of both the talent in the second tier and his own players' sophistication.
"Honestly, I'm not sure some of those people who think we do the same thing week in, week out have actually watched the lads," Wilder said. "Seriously, if they think that's all we're about then I don't think they've watched much of us or Championship football.
"We change, we tweak things not only for matches but also during them. Often, several times."
"The basic principles don't change," he continued. "And, as far as I'm concerned, they never will. But we've shown we've got the capability to swap things about and do things differently if we reckon there's going to be some benefit from that."
Marcelo Bielsa, hailed as one of the sharpest brains in the business by none other than Pep Guardiola, described United as "worthy of study" before they beat his Leeds side at Elland Road earlier this year. That compliment, from someone credited with also influencing Diego Simeone and Mauricio Pochettino, is at odds with some of the hackneyed analysis of newly promoted clubs are subject too.
"We've got to get better at everything we do," Wilder said. "We know that but there's good players - and intelligent players - here who are capable of thinking their way through things. They've shown that."