Sheffield United: What pleased Chris Wilder most about his players in Sheffield Derby against Sheffield Wednesday?
Chris Wilder may have left Hillsborough on Monday evening disappointed with the outcome and what he described as ‘hostility’ surrounding the Sheffield Derby, but admits he could have no complaints about one thing – the attitude of his Sheffield United side.
United missed the chance to go back into the automatic promotion places when they drew 0-0 with Wednesday, in a game high on intensity but low on quality and clear-cut chances.
Gary Madine was thwarted in United’s only real opening of the game, his header from Oliver Norwood’s excellent cross blocked at close range by Keiren Westwood.
And Dean Henderson was United’s hero in the second half, blocking Sam Hutchinson’s cross after Rolando Aarons’ cross from the left had caught out John Egan.
Wilder revealed a number of players in the away dressing room were “down” after the draw, United’s third in three games against their fiercest rivals.
But he added: “I’ve said to the players that over the last three years, and if I’m here next year and the year after that, I know what I’m going to get from them.
“That’s how we won a division and challenged around the top part of the one above for two years; because week in, week out we turn up.
“There’s a level of performance in there and I’m not flicking a coin and going ‘will we show up today or not?’
“We turn up and give ourselves an opportunity to get a result, and I’m proud of the players for that attitude.
“When we’re not great there’s a reason for that, but it’s not because we just dip our toes in and give half-hearted performances.”
Wilder, speaking ahead of Saturday’s derby against relegation-threatened Rotherham United, added: “Some players were down [after drawing at Wednesday] but we can’t always play free-flowing football.
“The important thing was that we gave ourselves the opportunity to get a result, and we did.”