Sheffield United: Manager of the Year makes pledge about new signings as The Blades prepare for Premier League football

Chris Wilder has vowed financial mercenaries will not be allowed to destroy the culture he has created at Bramall Lane after being crowned manager of the year by the League Managers Association.

By James Shield
Wednesday, 15 May, 2019, 17:22
Gareth Southgate and Sir Alex Ferguson present Chris Wilder with his award

The 51-year-old, who beat Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp to the prestigious Sir Alex Ferguson award, insisted only players who "really want to represent" Sheffield United are going to be targeted during this summer's transfer window.

Wilder, who is preparing for his first taste of the Premier League after leading United to promotion last term, said: "We want good players but good characters too, people who have the same ideals as the good characters we've already got here.

"That's one of the principles we've got here. Working with lads who have the right attitude. It's not about just getting a cheque book out and spending money. I think we've shown, with what the boys have achieved, that this is the right way to go for us. We aren't going to change now."

Wilder, aged 51, became only the fifth manager from outside the top-flight to win the trophy following his exploits with the club he has supported since childhood. Finishing second in the table, only 24 months after leading United out of League One, he was selected by his peers after impressing with his ability to deliver attractive football and excellent results on a budget.

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"We only want people who really want to represent this club," Wilder added. "We believe we're an attractive place to come, with the way we try and go about things, but that commitment has got to be there for us to push something through.

"I think that's absolutely vital. We've got players here who really care about the club and what happens. That's going to continue."

With top-flight clubs able to process domestic deals from tomorrow, Wilder and his coaching staff have held a number of meetings to compile their list of potential acquisitions. Talks with Manchester United, aimed at bringing Dean Henderson back to South Yorkshire on loan, are also continuing following the goalkeeper's admission he wants to represent United at the highest level next term.

Two centre-forwards and an attacking midfielder are known to be priorities, with Swansea City's Ollie McBurnie and Neal Maupay of Brentford boasting admirers among Wilder's backroom team."It's early stages," Wilder, who has so far refused to elaborate on his recruitment plans, said. "But there's plenty going on and we're working hard."