Sheffield United: 'This is one of the standout fixtures' - All the key talking points from Chris Wilder's press conference ahead of Aston Villa trip

Manager Chris Wilder faced the media this morning ahead of Friday's trip to Aston Villa.

Wednesday, 6th February 2019, 11:44 am
Updated Thursday, 7th February 2019, 16:57 pm
Chris Wilder faced the media this morning

Here are some key moments from his press conference ahead of the Villa Park clash.

Difficult decisions: I've said all along that I'm delighted to make them, but we've got some good players who won't get in the 18 never mind the 11. Everyone is fit and healthy and looking forward to a fantastic fixture in the Championship schedule.

Thought about changes? It's pretty easy for people on the outside to say 'keep the same team' but they don't see what I see in the week, and we've got to pick the right team for the opposition. Look at the away fixtures we have coming up - Villa, Leeds, West Brom, Wednesday... they come thick and fast and we've still got a third of the season to cram in. But the good thing is we've got brilliant options now.

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Injuries - We need a bit of luck with injuries and we've had it, with not many contact injuries. Couttsy's last season was horrible for player and team and there's nothing we can do about that. It all comes from recruitment, conditioning and the work that's put in. We do our homework, check out players before they sign and make sure they're durable and can play a 46-game Championship season.

State of play in the Championship - Can look at it right the way through. We were way off it before Christmas and Hull were looking behind them, thinking that they might be in trouble, but they've strung a few wins together and are now looking upwards. There'll be twists and turns and I don't think anyone will run away with it. There's a lot of pressure on some teams to get up and although there's no gun to our heads, it doesn't dampen our desire to be successful.

Mentality - We've been through the process in League One and although I'm not saying it's exactly the same, we've just got to enjoy it. The lads have got to keep their heads down and enjoy it, which I think they are. There's an ambition and a confidence amongst them that we can win games between now and the end of the season and if we win enough, let's see where it takes us.

Chris Wilder faced the media this morning

Memories of 4-1 win over Villa earlier in the season - Everything just clicked in terms of how we wanted to go about it. Villa had a bad day and were going through a poor period at the time, so we caught them at a good time but played very well. This time, it's a change of maanger, players and venue and they've got some outstanding players. Dean Smith's had success at this level and he's a very good manager, and wants to get the best out of his boyhood club as well.

This game - It's going to be a great game to be involved in. We're third in the division with all to play for, and it hasn't been given to us. We've had to work hard to get where we are and have to work hard to maintain it, too. They'll look at us and think they can score past us, which I respect, and with the way we play we can cause them problems. As we always talk about, we have to take our chances and then defend properly to nullify their threats.