Sheffield Derby: This is what will happen in Sheffield United’s dressing room moments before they face Sheffield Wednesday

Captain and lifelong Sheffield United supporter Billy Sharp will take the lead in Sheffield United's pre-match preparations: Harry Marshall/Sportimage
Captain and lifelong Sheffield United supporter Billy Sharp will take the lead in Sheffield United's pre-match preparations: Harry Marshall/Sportimage

There will be no Churchillian speeches or passionate addresses during those anxious final moments before kick-off.

Instead, when the buzzer sounds to summon his players from the dressing room, Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder plans to take a back seat.

"There won't be any great messages," he revealed, ahead of tomorrow’s derby against Sheffield Wednesday. "They won't need any motivation from me. They'll just be a few subtle reminders, that's all I'm going to do.

"The preparation has been done. Now it's time for business."

Given the city is his hometown, because United are his lifelong footballing love, Wilder's laissez-faire approach will surprise many; particularly after he spent much of yesterday's pre-match media conference emphasising the fixture's importance. 

But the 51-year-old's decision to "take a step back" demonstrates his faith in the squad's character. Captain Billy Sharp, another boyhood United fan, has instead been tasked with ensuring those involved are on message and point. Including midfielder Mark Duffy, who Wilder confirmed has recovered from a hip complaint.

Chris Wilder has taken a back seat this week: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

Chris Wilder has taken a back seat this week: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

"I took a step back this week and thought 'go on then, show me what you've got.' They all want a game, they've all pushed but they're driving it themselves," Wilder said. "There won't be any speeches from me when the bell goes. They know what it's about. They know and have that professional pride."

"Seriously, I've not had to say anything," Wilder added. "We've talked a lot about managing dressing rooms. I don't go in or get involved. The skipper will have reminded everyone, even though they probably didn't need it, of their responsibilities."

It seems inconceivable, after failing to appear in either of last season's derbies, that Sharp will not start against Wednesday. Having been effectively ruled-out of the win at Hillsborough through injury, he watched the return at Bramall Lane from the bench. With that match finishing goalless, Wilder later admitted his decision to omit Sharp had been a mistake. It is one, with the centre-forward scoring 11 times in his last 15 outings, he is unlikely to make again.

Duffy's availability is also significant, with the midfielder a vital cog in United's preferred 3-5-2 system.

Mark Duffy is expected to be fit for the derby: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

Mark Duffy is expected to be fit for the derby: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

"Everybody is raring to go," Wilder, confirming he has already named his side, said. "They've trained at full pace all week."