Sheffield United: Chris Wilder calls for a change to football's disciplinary system as he prepares to face Nottingham Forest without one of his most influential players

Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder wants a rule change
Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder wants a rule change

Chris Wilder has called for a change to the rule which means Sheffield United must face Nottingham Forest on Saturday without the suspended Chris Basham.

The defender, who is poised to sign a new contract at Bramall Lane, received a one match ban after collecting his fifth caution of the season last weekend.

But Wilder, noting how referee's are being encouraged to implement the laws of the game, insists the governing body must now increase the number of bookings a player can receive before they are punished.

"I think it’s tough," he said. "I go to managers’ meetings with referees, EFL (English Football League) meetings and, year in year out,  they tell you 'this rules coming in, you can’t tackle from behind, and you can’t do that, can’t do that.'"I have always said we have to be very careful, because this is a contact sport. So yes, I think it's something that's probably got to be looked at."

At present, the regulations state players must serve a ban if they accrue five yellow cards during the first 19 games of the campaign although the Football Association announced earlier this year that bookings are now 'competition specific.' 

But with defenders and midfielders now being cautioned on a more regular basis than 10 years ago, Wilder believes the threshold must be changed. Last term, across the division as a whole, centre-halves and full backs received an average of 3.2 per match compared to 2.7 in 2008. 

Chris Basham will miss the visit to Nottingham Forest: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

Chris Basham will miss the visit to Nottingham Forest: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

"Supporters want to see players make contact with each other, in the right way," Wilder, whose side are two points clear at the top of the Championship, added. "It’s our way, our tradition, even though foreign managers come in and sometimes don’t want that to happen. We'll get on with it but I think it's something that needs to be examined."

Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder thinks the EFL and FA should examine the system

Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder thinks the EFL and FA should examine the system