Sheffield United: 'Our gaffer is a match for any Premier League manager'

Jack O'Connell has revealed why Chris Wilder will prove a formidable adversary for even the greatest Premier League managers, after providing an insight into the methods he believes can establish Sheffield United as a top-flight club.

Friday, 23rd August 2019, 14:08 pm
Updated Friday, 23rd August 2019, 19:51 pm
Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers: Steven Paston/PA Wire

Speaking ahead of tomorrow's game against Leicester City - led by former Liverpool and Celtic chief Brendan Rodgers - O'Connell cited Wilder's relentless pursuit of excellence as a factor behind United's march through the divisions.

Languishing in the third tier when he took charge three years ago, they have taken four points from the opening two matches of the season after being promoted from the Championship last term.

"Our gaffer is a ruthless winner," O'Connell said. "He wants you 100 per cent full throttle in training. 'Train how you play,' that's what he says. His record speaks for itself.

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"His recruitment has also been about bringing in winners. That has helped the club do so well. Every player here wants to win. Every day in training, no one slackens off or coasts through a session. That is down to the players he has brought in."

"I love it," O'Connell added. "I am the sort who likes to train how he plays too. I'm 100 per cent on that. I am not one for pulling out of tackles or anything like that."

Wilder was voted Manager of the Year by the LMA after leading United back to the highest level four months ago, beating Pep Guardiola, Jurgen Klopp and Mauricio Pochettino to the prestigious award.

Rodgers is also highliy regarded within the sport, having nearly led O'Connell's hometown club Liverpool to the title before winning seven major trophies during his spell in Glasgow. Rodgers also achieved great success with Swansea, after starting his career with Reading and Watford.

Jack O'Connell: James Wilson/Sportimage

"I am a massive Liverpool fan and watched Brendan’s team," O'Connell said. "They were a very good team. He is trying to get Leicester to be that type of team, too.

"He is a very good manager. He has loads of success with Swansea and Celtic so this will be a tough game."

United, who opened the new campaign with a draw at AFC Bournemouth before beating Crystal Palace last weekend, could be without John Fleck for the visit of City after the midfielder suffered a hamstring injury.

Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder: Tim Goode/PA Wire.