Sheffield United: Manager Chris Wilder delivers a vital message to supporters

Chris Wilder has told Sheffield United supporters they can make the difference as this season's race for automatic promotion from the Championship enters the final straight.

By James Shield
Wednesday, 13th March 2019, 4:22 pm
Updated Wednesday, 13th March 2019, 4:28 pm
Sheffield United's players deserve full backing, says Chris Wilder: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

United travel to arch-rivals Leeds this weekend only two points behind Marcelo Bielsa's side, who climbed to the top of the table following Tuesday's victory over Reading.

With a sell-out crowd expected at Elland Road, Wilder insisted his team deserves the same backing when Bristol City visit Bramall Lane following the international break.

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Citing their midweek display against Brentford, when United survived Gary Madine's first-half sending-off to record a 2-0 win, as evidence of his squad's commitment, Wilder said: "Sometimes, it takes a bit of adversity to get our crowd going and give the players that lift. It's always been there away from home. 

"Now, with four home games left, this place should be packed and absolutely rocking. Because they deserve that.

"They (the fans) can give the lads that extra lift, an extra yard to run, and extra metre to jump and so on. It has to be that way now, all the way through until the end."

United, who complete their home schedule with games against Millwall, Nottingham Forest and Ipswich Town, enter the meeting with Leeds unbeaten in nine outings following a heroic display against Thomas Frank's men.

Sheffield United fans cheer on their team during the derby against Sheffield Wednesday: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

Although he admitted it had been "tough at times", Wilder described that performance as a template for success during Saturday's pivotal showdown. It is now nearly 10 hours since United last conceded a goal.

"That was what I wanted and required when I came to the football club," he said.

"They gave everything and left everything out there. They showed the art of defending. 

"You can see why we keep sheets, because the players are disciplined and organised and determined to keep the ball out of the back of the net. That was sheer attitude. That was general desire. 

"That's a dying art. That was out and out a defensive top showing, individually and collectively too."