Sheffield United: ‘It’s a great occasion to be involved in’ – Chris Wilder admits Sheffield Wednesday boss Steve Bruce ‘gets’ what the Sheffield Derby means
Blades boss Chris Wilder believes both Steve Bruce, his counterpart at Sheffield Wednesday, ‘gets’ what the Sheffield Derby is all about ahead of the 131st competitive instalment on Monday evening.
Sheffield United travel to Hillsborough looking to continue their push for promotion to the Premier League, while Wednesday have improved under new boss Bruce.
Rejecting claims made by Carlos Carvalhal and Jos Luhukay, Bruce’s predecessors, who tried to downplay the importance of the Sheffield Derby, Wilder said: “It hasn’t changed since I was a boy, supporting United, as a player and a manager. It’s a fantastic occasion.
“I know there has been a couple of different opinions from opposition managers over the last couple of years.
“I think Carlos said “it’s just a game”, which I didn’t get, and the other guy said he’s “played in bigger”, which I didn’t get even more.
“But Steve has hit the nail on the head, being the man that he is. Brought up in the north-east, having been involved in Manchester derbies and so-called derbies between Liverpool and Manchester United.
“He gets it, I get it, our supporters get it, their supporters get it, and the players get it. It’s great to be involved in.”
Bruce and Wilder briefly worked together when the former was in charge at Bramall Lane earlier in his career, and Wilder was in his second spell as a United player.
“Both sets of supporters want their team to go ‘hell for leather’ in that game and we won’t change our attitude,” Wilder, whose side have drawn their last two derbies with Wednesday after last season's 4-2 win at Hillsborough, added.
“We were a little bit disappointed in the games at home, because we hadn’t done enough.
“But we won’t change our attitude, to just get out of there alive and get something from the game.”