Sheffield United: Chris Wilder hits back at suggestions his Blades are a defensive team after earning Premier League's joint-best Premier League defensive record

Chris Wilder has hit back at suggestions his Sheffield United side is a defensive team after they earned the Premier League's joint-best Premier League defensive record.

Thursday, 24th October 2019, 12:29 pm
Updated Thursday, 24th October 2019, 12:30 pm
United defenders Jack O’Connell, John Egan and Chris Basham have been superb this season: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

United and Liverpool have conceded the joint fewest goals in the top-flight this term, while no club has conceded fewer league goals from open play than United since the opening day of the season.

United’s defence recorded their latest clean sheet on Monday evening when they beat Arsenal 1-0, thanks to Lys Mousset’s goal on his full league debut.

And Wilder, speaking ahead of Saturday’s trip to West Ham, said: “I think it’s quite interesting that we are now labelled as a defensive team… I don’t see that in the team and we try to be as balanced as possible.

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“In the summer all our recruitment was at the top of pitch because we recognised that we’ve got to score goals to win points. We’re trying to create chances and play our own way, even though we’re playing at a higher standard which is a huge leap from last year.

“We’ve just got a general pride to be organised and stick our bodies on the line, and keep the ball out of our net. At times the shape comes into play but at other times, it’s just a general desire and decent defending.

“We know we have to be good at that. There are really good players everywhere in this division but usually, most of the money is spent at the top of the pitch. We have a togetherness and a desire to keep the ball out. Then they’ve got to get past a goalkeeper [Dean Henderson] who’s doing well for us at the moment.”

“We still want to go and score,” Wilder added.

“I don’t see us as defensive or counter-attacking. I see us defending well when we have to, and then attack well when the opportunity opens up for us.”