LISTEN: Sheffield United chief Chris Wilder warns of ‘consequences’ after defeat at Preston

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Chris Wilder has warned his Sheffield United players that there will be ‘consequences’ if they take their eyes off the ball in the race for promotion from the Championship this season.

Wilder’s men saw their winless run extended to five games when they lost 1-0 at Preston North End yesterday.

United's players applaud their fans at Preston

United's players applaud their fans at Preston

And the Blades boss, who was without all three of his first choice midfielders John Fleck, Paul Coutts and Mark Duffy to suspension, injury and illness respectively, said: "I don't like the spike that's appeared in the team over the last few weeks.

”I don't enjoy it. I am one for a consistent approach and performances and we are not getting it.

"I think some of them may have taken their eye off the ball a little bit. If that's the case they (had) better get ready for the consequences of taking their eye off the ball.

"There have been a lot of plaudits gone to the club and to the players and the staff so we have to find an answer. Whether that's personnel or my attitude towards them, we have to find a way.

"We need to improve. When you look at Preston, they have 25 established Championship players, that's what we are up against. And Preston aren't a big hitter in the division."