Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder addresses speculation about his future
Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder has refused to provide any guarantees about his future following suggestions he was on the verge of resigning earlier this week following its disappointing start to the Premier League season.
Speaking to the media ahead of today’s FA Cup tie at Bristol Rovers, Wilder was asked if reports he is considering his position are correct amid claims of unrest behind the scenes.
Despite confirming he “loves” working for the club he has supported since childhood and has twice led to promotion, Wilder acknowledged it is “impossible” to predict how long he will remain at the helm, saying: “Football is what football is. There’s no guarantees. I can’t sit here and say I’m going to be manager in five years or 24 hours. That’s not how football is. I’m under contract, and as far as I’m concerned I’m manager of this football club.”
After finishing ninth in the table last term, United will travel to the Memorial Stadium searching for their first win of the campaign following a run of 15 defeats and three draws in all competitions. Twelve points adrift of safety, Wilder had hoped to enter Tuesday’s home game against Newcastle with at least one new signing at his disposal although an early breakthrough in the transfer market appears unlikely after United, who have expressed an interest in England international Jesse Lingard, decided to focus on brokering loan deals.
Questioned on whether his “vision” for United differs from the one being put forward by its owners, Wilder told The Star: “When you're on a run like this, the thing you most have to affect is the next performance. That’s where I’m at with it, the next performance; looking at the preparation for the next game. We’ve all got our visions. The owners will have their vision and I have as well. But from my point of view, it’s all in on Saturday.”
United are set to be without a number of key players at Rovers, although John Lundstram is available again following suspension. Wilder recently admitted he is prepared to sell the midfielder, who has refused to extend his contract which expires this summer. Jack O’Connell and Sander Berge are long-term absentees, while Oliver Burke and Oli McBurnie are both doubts for the meeting with Paul Tisdale’s side, who are 18th in League One. Lys Mousset’s involvement is also in question after his sports car was involved in a crash following United’s trip to Crystal Palace seven days ago. However,m the centre-forward has since trained at the Steelphalt Academy.
“Every day, I put my head on a pillow and sleep easy because I do my very best for this football club,” Wilder added. “I make decisions on every aspect, for the benefit of this football club. People have their opinions on what needs changing. I’m getting on with my work as manager of this football club, in conjunction with this club, in terms of making things better. I think I’ve been successful in changing things for the better at this football club.”