LiveSheffield United LIVE: Chris Wilder's press conference ahead of Southampton clash

Chris Wilder will face the media this afternoon ahead of Sheffield United’s clash with Southampton tomorrow.

Friday, 5th March 2021, 12:17 pm

United go into the game buoyed by the midweek win over Aston Villa and although survival seems a long way off, Wilder’s men will be looking to do all they can to at least make it interesting at the bottom of the table in the last months of the season.

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Sheffield United's manager Chris Wilder (Tim Goode/Pool Photo via AP)
Sheffield United's manager Chris Wilder (Tim Goode/Pool Photo via AP)

Sheffield United Live: Chris Wilder’s press conference ahead of Southampton clash

Last updated: Friday, 05 March, 2021, 15:15

Why Sheffield United didn't appeal Phil Jagielka's controversial red card against Aston Villa

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Sheffield United considered appealing Phil Jagielka’s controversial red card against Aston Villa in midweek, Chris Wilder has revealed, before deciding against it after taking advice on the matter.

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Wilder on playing behind closed doors football

Our players love playing in front of the fans at Bramall Lane and without taking them for granted, 100 per cent I’m sure our punters enjoyed the performances our players were serving up. They played a big part of turning losses into draws and draws into wins, and I’m sure they’d have done that this season too. Joe Cole mentioned it on commentary, what it’d have been like in the last 10 minutes with us hanging on against Villa with 10 men. We held on anyway but it would have made it a lot easier with them in the ground.

Wilder reflects on lockdown and a year without fans

I don’t think anyone’s going to look back at this period as a great period for anyone, it’s been a really testing one. When the chance comes round everyone will be looking forward to that, but there’s a lot of work to be done before then. We have our early reflections on it, which have obviously been disappointing, and we have to take the responsibility of it not being good enough.

Wilder on David McGoldrick

David is well up there with one of my favourites. Everyone who knows Didzy and his career would say he was an extremely talented young player who, for one reason or another, has not incredibly fulfilled his potential. He suffered with big injuries and timing, and sometimes careers aren’t straightforward. But he’s maximising it now, at a home I know he enjoys and with a fanbase who really appreciate him. And I know he appreciates them.

If Blades go down, can they bounce back next season?

That’s the plan and other clubs have done that, Burnley are a good example. They beat us in the play-off final, I was there, had a year or two, came down and went back up. There is another way to try and establish yourself in the Premier League, and other clubs have done that.

Wilder on his future

I spoke about it, I should imagine the powers that be understand what was said and that’s as much as I’m going to say about it. I was honest and open, as I always will be, regarding my thoughts and feelings on the club and I’ve got nothing more to add. That’s where it’s at from my point of view.

Wilder on midweek win over Villa

A really good result for us, a good attitude to the game. We got the odd game last season when we weren’t good enough, which you have to take and deal with, but 80 or 90 per cent of the games were like Wednesday’s. It was a fabulous goal for us and a real desire to defend properly and keep the ball out of the back of the net, with a real spirit and commitment. We’ve shown that all through the season but maybe it galvanised us a little bit more with the decision to send Phil off, which I felt was harsh. Premier League points for us are so precious and it was three big ones for us, and we deserved them for a lot of the attributes we showed on the night.

Wilder on 3-0 defeat at St Mary’s earlier this season

It was a disappointing afternoon for us, you get these games through the season. There was a lot of things that weren’t right that afternoon and we paid the price for a really poor performance and a comfortable win for Southampton. They were going well at the time and we weren’t, the performance wasn’t good enough on that afternoon.

Wilder on Southampton

It just shows how difficult the division is, they had a fabulous middle to back end of last season and finished with real momentum and started this season on the front foot. In think they went top for a small period so have quality but sometime when you lose key players and things don’t go for you, these things can happen.

Wilder on injured pair Jayden Bogle and Chris Basham

Both the players will be missing, so that’s a situation we’ll have to deal with, and get through. Hopefully they will be in contention for next weekend at Leicester and definitely the last game before the break in the cup at Chelsea. Fingers crossed we can get a couple back. It’s been a difficult period but one that we have to adjust and adapt to.

Did Blades consider appealing Jagielka’s red card?

CW: We did, when we looked through the night and the morning but we took advice on it, there was a difference of opinion but were told on a technicality that the three things that they consider, overturning a decision has to be an unbelievable clear and obvious mistake. I didn’t think it was a red but they thought it was, and it was pointless from our point of view. We have to accept that decision.

Wilder is asked for his view on players going away on international duty into ‘red list’ countries...

We haven’t got that issue, so I’m  happy for the players to go and gain experience and represent their countries, we have a couple going away but not on the red list. It is quite concerning for those clubs that have players on that list, but the fixtures and breaks are there and we’ll abide by the rules but it hasn’t affected us, so I haven’t thought about it too much.

Wilder is asked if he agrees with Scott Parker’s view, that VAR is killing the emotion of football...

In a way, I do agree. For us to have the decision go against us at Fulham was disappointing, we thought it should have been a penalty and Scott has had his issues this season as much as we did last year and this. I agree with him. A lot of the emotion has gone out of the game anyway with no crowds being allowed in, so that has affected everybody from the start, especially for the teams that need it.  

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