Sheffield United: 'We're aiming for the stars, not fourth from bottom'

Chris Wilder has warned he will not be satisfied if Sheffield United simply avoid relegation this season, insisting they must aim to finish higher in the Premier League.

Friday, 4th October 2019, 12:04 am
Chris Wilder: Simon Bellis/Sportimage
Chris Wilder: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

But, highlighting the size of the challenge facing the Blades as they embark upon their first top-flight campaign since 2007, Wilder described Watford as favourites to win Saturday's match at Vicarage Road. Quique Sánchez Flores' side are bottom, after failing to win any of their opening seven games.

Acknowledging United are still expected to go down, despite travelling to Hertfordshire 12th in the table, Wilder said: "We've always raised the bar. We don't want to just finish fourth from the bottom.

"I know the players better than anybody. I know who to push and who not to.

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"We're not settling for being 'okay'. We want to raise the bar and keep pushing individually.

"That's been the theme running through. There's clarity in that. They know I'm tough with them but they accept it.

"We're in a tough changing room. Some people might need a bit of help at times but we're tough with the boys too."

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The trip to Watford marks United's return to action following last weekend's defeat to Liverpool, which saw the reigning European champions survive a huge fright before prevailing thanks to a fortuitous second-half goal.

Flores' men were also beaten - 2-0 by Wolverhampton Wanderers - and have not tasted league success on home soil for six months.

Responding to Watford midfielder Tom Cleverley's claim that the arrival of United represented an opportunity for the hosts to ignite their season, Wilder said: "No change in the approach (for Watford). It's another difficult game.

"One of their players said they expect to beat us and they should expect to beat us. We're going to have to defend well as a team and be solid. Then we have to take opportunities when they arise. They are an established Premier League club. They should be beating us really."