Sheffield United are told they have no other choice but to continue chasing the impossible

Chris Wilder has insisted Sheffield United are obliged to keep fighting “until the very last game” despite requiring a miracle to avoid being relegated from the Premier League.

Wednesday, 24th February 2021, 6:05 am

Fourteen points adrift of safety with only 13 matches remaining, Wilder’s side will enter Sunday’s game against Liverpool knowing they are likely to be playing in the second tier next season even if they beat the reigning champions.

Although the United manager appeared to admit defeat in the battle for survival following last weekend’s defeat by Fulham, he insisted: “We have an obligation to keep on going. We have an obligation to the club, ourselves as professionals, the people who work here and also to the most important people - the fans.

“No matter what happens, this is a group that fights and puts it all in. That’s what we do and that’s what we’ve got to carry on doing. That’s what I’ll be doing and that’s what I know these lads will be doing too.”

Sign up to our Sheffield United newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Chris Wilder is preparing Sheffield United to face Liverpool this weekend: Andrew Yates/Sportimage

“There’s always something to fight for,” Wilder added. “It doesn’t matter if it’s points, pride or whatever, there’s always a reason to go out there and give it everything. In fact, because we are professionals, there doesn’t even need to be one. That, fighting, comes with the territory. It’s what you do.”

Wilder’s comments come as United prepare for one of the most high-profile and challenging fixtures on their calendar without a number of key players, including the 53-year-old’s three first choice centre-halves. As Jack O’Connell and John Egan continue to receive treatment for knee and toe complaints respectively, Chris Basham is also expected to miss the meeting with Jurgen Klopp’s side after damaging a hamstring at Craven Cottage. Jack Robinson, signed to provide cover and competition for O’Connell, is also unavailable for selection.

“It’s a tough and challenging period for us at the moment, everybody can see that and people within the game know why,” Wilder said. “But we simply have to get on with it, and show what we’re made of because there is no other way or response that is satisfactory or acceptable.”

An important message: Thank you for reading this article, one of dozens we publish every single day to provide you with the best, most up-to-date and most informative coverage of YOUR club. This depth of coverage costs, so to help us maintain the high-quality reporting that you are used to from the football team at The Star, please consider taking out a subscription to our new discounted sports-only package. You'll find all the details at https://www.thestar.co.uk/subscriptions/sports. Your support is much appreciated.