Sheffield United: Rival boss pays Chris Wilder a huge compliment

Lee Johnson, the Bristol City manager, drew parallels between Sheffield United's methodology and the one he employs at Ashton Gate after the visitors' condemned Chris Wilder's side to a rare home defeat.

Friday, 29th March 2019, 5:25 pm
Updated Sunday, 31st March 2019, 3:44 pm
Bristol City manager Lee Johnson: Nick Potts/PA Wire.
Bristol City manager Lee Johnson: Nick Potts/PA Wire.

Although an Austrian - Andreas Weimann - was the most influential figure in the game, scoring a hat-trick as City twice came from behind to reignite their top six challenge, Johnson highlighted how both he and Wilder prefer to source talent from the domestic rather than overseas market.

"We're two clubs who try and sign honest, English players," Johnson said. "We're two English managers and he (Wilder) is young with a fantastic record. The clubs are similar in their ethos and the way we want to progress."

"We're not buying our way to promotion, or trying to, either of us," Johnson continued. "We both believe in English players and I think that's right because English players, as you're now seeing with the national side, are now up there with the best in the world."

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Speaking before the match, which saw Billy Sharp fire United ahead before Scott Hogan briefly restored their advantage, Wilder also admitted there were similarities between how his employers and City go about their business.

Although Johnson made no attempt to disguise his anger when asked to clarify reports that Hogan and United goalkeeper Dean Henderson had been targeted by the visitors before completing moves to South Yorkshire - "I can't answer questions on every single player just for clickbait purposes" - the fact both have previously been linked with transfers to the south-west speaks volumes.

"I promise you, I have nothing but credit for what Chris Wilder has done," Johnson said. "We paid them the ultimate compliment by changing our system, but not our attitude. It was a real tactical battle. We changed. They changed. We changed. They changed. It was stressful but good to be a part of."

United slipped to third in the table after their 10 match unbeaten run came to a halt while City climbed to eighth.

“There's a lot of teams under a lot of pressure and we feel as if we can play freely. The disappointing thing was that we didn't do that last week (during a draw against Ipswich)."