Sheffield United LIVE: Chris Wilder press conference ahead of battle at the bottom with Fulham

It’s press conference day at Sheffield United and there’s a huge match for the manager to discuss.

Friday, 19th February 2021, 8:39 am

It’s fair to say that anything less than a win for the Blades over Fulham tomorrow night would probably put the final nail on their ambitions to stay in the Premier League, although there’s still a mountain to climb even if all three points are taken off the Cottagers.

Chris Wilder is speaking to the media today in the build-up to the match against Scott Parker’s side and aside from that there’ll be plenty to discuss.

High on the agenda will be the status of key men John Fleck and John Egan. The latter as stretchered off late in the game against West Ham on Monday night after a challenge on Jesse Lingard.

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Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder is speaking to the media today ahead of the Blades taking on Fulham on Saturday nght. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

Meanwhile, Fleck didn’t make the line-up for the trip to the London Stadium after Wilder revealed that the midfielder has been rushed to hospital last weekend.

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Sheffield United news LIVE: Chris Wilder press conference ahead of Fulham

Last updated: Friday, 19 February, 2021, 13:17

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Yet another injury blow for the Blades...

Wilder on Scott Parker

I always thought Scott was an intelligent player and he’s taken that into his management career. He knows how to coach and what he wants. They’re in good form at the minute and are not a team that’s been out of the division for 15 years, who come through after a spell in League One. Their mentality is one of an established Premier League club, who came out and did well to get back in. These are a side who can get a result anywhere, and can beat us if we're not at our best. But we believe we can cause them problems too.

Wilder on injury “curse"

I do feel we’ve been cursed. I feel for the medical staff, they’ve been outstanding for two or three years. We’ve had big injuries that have hurt us, there was talk about overplaying and muscle injuries but we’ve had few of them. We’ve had John Fleck falling and breaking his back, Jack O’Connell colliding with Dean Henderson, Oli McBurnie falling and hurting his shoulder and now John Egan hurting himself making a tackle.

Wilder is asked about new contracts this summer

Nothing’s been said to me about anything going forward. We knew we’d flirt with 16th and 17th because that’s the way it is with a newly promoted club. It was about keeping everyone and going again, if we do go down. They have the ability and attitude and drive and desire to go again, and that’s where I am at with it.

Wilder on Fulham and Scott Parker

Scott understands the division, he’s played in it all his life and is understanding it as a manager now. He did a fabulous job last season and has brought in some fabulous players. They've drawn a lot of games, and he’ll understand how difficult the league is. People don’t sometimes understand that, they don’t see the detail and the situations everyone has to deal with at every club. Scott’s had his situations and dealt with them brilliantly. They’ll believe they can get out of their position and will see us as a good opportunity to tighten the gap between them and above.

Wilder on Jack O’Connell and Sander Berge

Sander's off-site at the moment having some specialist treatment in London, so we’re leaving no stone unturned in terms of getting him back as quick as possible without being injured. Jack’s out on the grass, we’re hoping he can step up his return to training and playing in the next couple of weeks. We have to clear him so fingers crossed, and same with Sander. But both attitudes are brilliant, as you assume they will be.

Wilder on Blades’ mindset

We go into every game trying to win it, we didn’t sit on the crossbar at Man U and we have a mindset of trying to win everywhere. We won up and down the country last season and we haven’t done that as often this season,but we understand that when you go to Man City or Chelsea, you’ll be pushed back. We’ll go Saturday expecting to win and wanting to win. If we make individual errors, our chances will lessen. Scott and his group who are going well at the moment will feel the same.

Wilder on what he can do as manager at the minute

You scratch your head and try and bring your experience to the table, give them encouragement and a dig at times. You try everything in the locker to try and get the best out of them, from a work rate and effort point of view. You can’t legislate for individual mistakes. I know Mark Noble quite well and I’m keen to seek out opinions from people I respect. I asked him what he thought and he said from box to box, we did a lot of things well. If we can cut out the stupid mistakes, because that’s the reason we’re not getting the results we want.

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