Chris Wilder has provided an insight into the approach which is driving Sheffield United’s climb up the Championship table, admitting his players know there will be consequences if they fail to put their bodies on the line.
Describing commitment as a prerequisite rather than something to be praised, Wilder revealed he would be prepared to publicly embarrass anyone he suspected of giving less than 100 per cent, regardless of the circumstances.
Although he insisted United have been unfairly portrayed as a workmanlike team following last season’s promotion from League One, Wilder said: “To be fair to Al (assistant manager Alan Knill), he talks about this all the time; that people think we’ve just rolled in and that it’s all about tackles and headers. They are a minimum for me.
“Bash (Chris Basham) know he can’t pull out of tackles or he’ll get subbed. Duff (Mark Duffy) at the other end of the pitch knows he can’t or he’ll get subbed. The same goes for everyone else too.
“If they aren’t prepared to put everything on the line, they’re out. That’s what it is here, you are either in or you’re out.
“But we still get stuff chucked at us, even though we’re about much more than that.”
United enter this weekend’s match against Reading third in the table after taking 18 points from the last eight games. Despite arguing the technical aspect of their performances is frequently over-looked, Wilder’s frustration has been heightened by the fact that some supposedly more cultured opponents have resorted to underhand tactics against United in recent weeks.
Praising Ipswich Town for their no-nonsense approach during Saturday’s contest at Bramall Lane, Wilder said: There was competition on the pitch and between the dug-outs. But there were no balls running around the technical area, no 22 minute half time breaks and stuff like that. Mick McCarthy (the Ipswich manager) isn’t that kind of bloke.”