Sheffield United: Why does Chris Wilder believe facing Burnley is as tough as it gets?
Sheffield United have been warned tomorrow's game against Burnley will prove as tough, if not tougher, than their recent meetings with Liverpool and Arsenal.
Chris Wilder issued the prediction after describing Sean Dyche's side as the perfect example for his own squad to follow as they seek to establish themselves in the Premier League.
Despite acknowledging the latest visitors to Bramall Lane do not possess the same glamour as the reigning European champions or last season's Europa League finalists, Wilder said: "This is as tough a game for us at home as we'll have. And I'm not just saying that to protect us. People look at Liverpool and Arsenal, I look at all of the games and take them on their own merits."
Burnley travel to South Yorkshire hoping to avoid a third straight loss following set-backs to Leicester City and Chelsea. United enter the game unbeaten in two, after beating Arsenal and then drawing with West Ham last weekend.
But Wilder, whose squad came agonisingly close to shattering Liverpool's unbeaten start to the new season five weeks ago, added: "For Burnley to get the results they have across the board, they have been consistent. Game in game out, be it Sheffield United away or Chelsea at home, they leave everything out there. Everything. That's what we've got to be ready for."
United have prepared for the match in eighth after making an encouraging start to life back at the highest level following a 12 year absence. Languishing in League One when Wilder was appointed in May 2016, their march through the divisions has been dramatic.
Although Wilder last night admitted United are not the finished article, he insisted the speed of his team's ascent must be taken into account when judging its progress.
"We weren't this ridiculously powerful Championship club that was set, with the money, for the Premier League," he said. "We have a lot of young players and other players who are in their first season at this level. I think that has to be taken into account when people criticise of have opinions on individuals, which I know they will."