Sheffield United: 'Happy with fifth? Don't you believe it'

Chris Wilder, the Sheffield United manager, has revealed his players remain unsatisfied with their progress so far this season despite climbing to fifth in the Premier League.

Wednesday, 13th November 2019, 12:20 pm
Updated Wednesday, 13th November 2019, 5:13 pm
Sheffield United's players take part in a minute's silence ahead of their game at Tottenham Hotspur: James Wilson/Sportimage

Wilder's squad entered the international break above the likes of Arsenal, Everton and Manchester United in the table after extending its unbeaten run to five top-flight games.

But revealing details of a dressing room meeting he convened following last weekend's draw with Tottenham Hotspur, Wilder admitted: "I asked them if they were happy with the points they've got afterwards. And I don't think they were. The gave the impression they thought they could have got more. Here and elsewhere as well."

United's coaching staff have made no secret of the fact that individual errors cost them dear at the beginning of the campaign, with Wilder's comments providing an insight into the mentality which has twice delivered promotion in the space of only three seasons. But after taking steps to address that situation - the 52-year-old also believes inexperience, after spending more than a decade outside of the top-flight, was a contributory factor - United now boast the joint best defensive record in the division. Only second-placed Leicester City have not conceded more goals.

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United return to action when Ole Gunnar Solskjær's side visit South Yorkshire on November 24 and, given the quality at the Norwegian's disposal, Wilder believes their performance in London provides the template for success against the three-time European champions.

"We never expected it all out own way (at Spurs)," he said. "That's why it was a terrific performance from all of my own players. Tottenham were the favourites to win and I totally get that, because of the players they've got. So we knew we couldn't afford to have an off day."

United have four players in the Republic of Ireland squad which faces New Zealand in a friendly tomorrow, ahead of next week’s crucial Euro 2020 qualifier against Denmark.