Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder comments on his squad's state-of-mind ahead of Sunday's clash with Fulham

Chris Wilder, the Sheffield United manager, has dismissed claims that confidence among his squad is at a low ebb ahead of Sunday’s meeting with Fulham despite watching them make a disappointing start to the new Premier League season.

Friday, 16th October 2020, 7:00 am

United will enter the match hoping to avoid a fifth straight defeat, after being beaten by Wolverhampton Wanderers, Aston Villa, Leeds and Arsenal since finishing ninth in the table last term.

Although Wilder acknowledged results invariably impact upon the mood of any team, he is adamant United possess the qualities required to lift themselves out of danger and the determination to ensure that plan is actioned.

“At times like this, I always look to see how people are interacting with each other,” he said. “Are they still together? Are they still united? Are there any splits?

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“There’s none of that here, which doesn’t surprise me, because I know what these lads are made of and what they’re all about.”

“They’re good players, they’ve shown that and, to be honest, I think they’ve shown that at times this season already,” Wilder continued. “Yes, there’s things we can do better and areas where we can improve. We’re working on that.

“But at the same time, I also think the lads deserve a bit of the break, because there have been certain things that have gone against them recently.”

Wilder was referring to a series of controversial refereeing decisions, including John Egan’s red card at Villa Park, a claimed foul on Sander Berge during the build-up to Patrick Bamford’s winning goal in last month’s Yorkshire derby and Lee Mason’s refusal to punish David Luiz for a shirt pull on Oliver Burke at the beginning of United’s match at the Emirates Stadium - although Keith Hackett, one of the game’s most respected former officials, later explained why the Brazilian had not been dismissed.

Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder is preparing to lead his team into battle against Fulham: Michael Regan/PA Wire.

United are set to hand record signing Rhian Brewster his debut when Scott Parker’s side, who are also without a point since competition resumed, make the journey to South Yorkshire.

“Tough people get going when things get difficult,” Wilder said. “And our boys have shown they’re tough.”

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Rhian Brewster is set to make his debut against Fulham this weekend: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

Chris Holt, Football Editor