United recorded only their second top-flight victory since September when they beat Manchester United last night, with goals from Kean Bryan and Oliver Burke stunning Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s title-chasing side.
Wilder’s men return to action when they face Manchester City, who have been crowned champions of England in two of the past three seasons, this weekend before meeting Chelsea early next month.
Although United have struggled to replicate their results last term, when they finished ninth in the table after being promoted from the Championship, Wilder said: “I actually think we’re getting closer to these top sides than we were last year. I think we were closer to City when they came to our place recently and I think we were closer to Liverpool when we went to Anfield not too long back than on our previous trip there.
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“Genuinely, I believe that to be the case. We’ve just got to get better at the big moments and we showed we can do it against a brilliant Manchester United team with a manager I have the greatest of respect for.”
Despite preparing for their visit to the Etihad Stadium at the bottom of the rankings, United moved to within 10 points 17th placed Brighton and Hove Albion when Bryan and Burke pounced either side of Harry Maguire’s equaliser. With matches against fellow strugglers West Bromwich Albion and Fulham also on the horizon, United have shown marked signs of improvement in recent weeks, winning four of their last five outings in all competitions.
“We know what’s in front of us, and immediately that’s another really tough game,” Wilder, whose side are also set to face Bristol City in the FA Cup fifth round, said. “But it’s about taking things step by step, trying to make the improvements I believe we’re capable of making, and that will see us start to get the results I also believe these lads have deserved more than they’ve sometimes got.”