Sheffield United: Who are the Three Amigos helping The Blades get ready for battle?

At lunchtime tomorrow, moments before they go in to battle with Nottingham Forest, Sheffield United's players will receive a pep talk and some words of encouragement.

By James Shield
Thursday, 18 April, 2019, 18:56
Sheffield United face Nottingham Forest tomorrow: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

Chris Wilder plans to have the last word. That is a manager's prerogative.But captain Billy Sharp, together with John Egan and Chris Basham, are also expected to deliver speeches despite being ruled-out of the match.

"Bash and Bill will be around the changing room," Wilder said. "And John's going to be there too. All three of them, although they're out, have really been involving themselves in making sure the lads are ready. I think that tells you what they're all about."

Sheffield United captain Billy Sharp: James Wilson/Sportimage

Although the one game ban Egan received means he is eligible for selection against Hull City next week, the hamstring injuries Sharp and Basham suffered either side of the centre-half's red card against Millwall means they will miss the entire Bank Holiday period. Three points behind second-placed Leeds with only four matches remaining, their absences are certainly untimely for a United squad chasing automatic promotion to the Premier League.

But Wilder, whose side conceded a 94th minute equaliser during last weekend's meeting with the Londoners, is adamant United, in third, can cope."It does open it up," he said. "I remember not so long ago when we lost Bash and Jack O'Connell and everybody was 'dear me.'

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"Then we went and beat Middlesbrough, deservedly, and smashed Reading. It opens it up and, you never know, it might bring a bit more energy."

Leeds, who trail Norwich City by four points, face a Wigan Athletic side which held the leaders to a draw last weekend. Leon Clarke, on loan from United, could spearhead their attack against his parent club's rivals.

Chris Basham: James Wilson/Sportimage

"Look at Norwich," Wilder said. "If our old pal Leon had done us a favour, they would have been 2-0 down. Everybody is scrambling. It's not huge swings. I've said all along, if you pick up two points per game at this stage then you deserve to do it. But it's not as easy as it looks."

John Egan: James Wilson/Sportimage