Sheffield United: ‘He’d probably kick his own mum for three points, let alone his brother’

Chris Wilder with George Baldock: Simon Bellis/Sportimage
Chris Wilder with George Baldock: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

George Baldock would probably "kick his own mum" let alone older brother Sam in order to win Saturday's game against Reading, Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder has admitted, as the two siblings prepare to go head to head at the Madejski Stadium.

Baldock jnr, the United wing-back, and Baldock snr, who joined Reading earlier this year, are expected to start this weekend's game in Berkshire as the visitors attempt to consolidate their grip on a top six place.

Reading's Sam Baldock

Reading's Sam Baldock

Although Wilder admitted it must be "a strange situation" for both players and their family, he said: "I don't have a brother but I've got to say, if I did, he'd get booted. George is that type of guy as well. 

"You have to have the focus he's got to be doing what he's doing in his career. He's got to play well regardless of whether his brother is up front or his mum is up front. He'd probably kick her during a game as well."

United travel south tonight five points behind second-placed Leeds and above Derby County, in seventh, on goal difference. Reading, who today sacked their manager Paul Clement, are 21st in the table.

"George, if he plays, will be up against his brother," Wilder continued. "Sam has had a good career as well, he knows how to finish. 

George Baldock is expected to start against Reading: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

George Baldock is expected to start against Reading: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

"Look at the back of the programmes in the Championship, there are some really good players in this division and Reading are no different. You don't stroll into any game. You have to be bang on it, mentally and physically to get something from any match at this level."

Wilder, who confirmed Ben Woodburn (ankle) will miss the match through injury while Leon Clarke is a doubt, also outlined his respect for Reading's Marc McNulty, describing the former United striker as a "goalscorer."

McNulty left Bramall Lane at the end of 2017's League One title winning campaign, joining Coventry City before being sold during the close season.

"He was around it and around it for the second-half of the season," Wilder said. "He was putting pressure on the likes of Billy (Sharp). When players come in, it's always interesting to see the effect it has on other players. I think Ben being here has lifted Mark Duffy. 

"From Billy's point of view, he had an unbelievable season. That was possibly aided by Mark McNulty being behind him. Marc was a really popular lad and, even though people always look for an angle, we really liked him as well."

"We looked at him and thought he'd be part of that group but the boy has decisions to make as well," Wilder added. "We had Leon, Billy and Matty Done was playing up front as well, together with Dominic Calvert-Lewin at the beginning of the season. We had a lot of options at the top of the pitch."