Sheffield United: Manager Chris Wilder points an accusing finger after coin throwing incident

Chris Wilder, the Sheffield United manager, condemned the increasingly sinister side to his team's rivalry with Sheffield Wednesday after a coin was thrown at visiting defender Jack O'Connell during last night's match at Hillsborough.

Chris Wilder salutes Blades fans after the goalless draw at Hillsborough with rivals Wednesday
Chris Wilder salutes Blades fans after the goalless draw at Hillsborough with rivals Wednesday

The incident, which came at the beginning of the match as O'Connell prepared to take a throw-in, also brought condemnation from Wilder's opposite number Steve Bruce who pledged Wednesday will hunt down the culprit and take the necessary action.

Wilder, whose side remained third in the Championship after the fixture finished goalless, blamed social media for dripping poison into one of the country's fiercest footballing rivalries.

"It's gone quite hostile recently, and whether or not that's because of social media I don't know, but that (objects being thrown) is not something you want to see.

"There's always been rough and tumble, something I spoke about earlier in the week, but there's things like that happening now that never used to and it's a shame. It shouldn't be happening."

Wilder, a lifelong United supporter, continued: "We all know what this means to people, it always has done. But you don't want to see things cross the line and that might be happening now.

"I remember when we used to go out and people from us and Wednesday knew each other. You knew people were on the other side of the divide, as it were, and you accepted and respected that. But it's changing a bit now, there's a few things happening, and that's a shame.”

The Football Association are likely to examine footage of the incident, which was captured by television cameras, before deciding whether or not to launch an official investigation. 

Turning his attention to footballing matters, Wilder acknowledged United had failed to reach their usual heights against opponents who also finished the evening unbeaten in seven.

"There's a few lads in there disappointed," he said. "We wanted to come here and win and get back into the top two.

"We always have the same attitude, that we want to go out there and win, no matter what the occasion. That's something, even though we're not pleased not to take all three points, my lads always do."

"I think the referee probably had lock jaw at the end of that," he added. "And quite rightly so because there was too many little fouls for it to be a free flowing games.

“But we move on now, and we'll do that with the same attitude we always have."