Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder identifies the biggest challenge facing his players when they return to Premier League action
Sheffield United’s players will find it difficult to draw a line under their defeats to Chelsea, Manchester City and Liverpool, manager Chris Wilder has admitted, because they continue to believe they can compete with the best in the Premier League.
Speaking after his team entered the international break at the bottom of the table, having faced the last three champions of England in successive games, Wilder reminded supporters of the “huge challenges” which confront his team whenever they meet some of the richest and most powerful clubs in world football.
Admitting results at grounds such as Stamford Bridge and Anfield will not define United’s season, Wilder urged his side to “take the positives” out of their performances against Liverpool and City, which drew praise from both Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola.
Although he hopes that message resonates with supporters, some of whom have expressed their frustration with United’s predicament on social media, Wilder conceded it could prove a tougher sell inside their dressing room, saying: “It’s really difficult (for the team) to have that mentality because we believe we can get something out of every single game we play. That’s the attitude the lads have, and that’s to their credit, because they are determined to compete and win every single time they set foot on the pitch.
“But that’s what we’re going to have to do now - put what has happened to one side, take the good things out of those games - because there are plenty of good things to take - and move it forward.”
United return to action on November 22, when they embark upon a 10 game run Wilder believes will define how the rest of their campaign unfolds.
Acknowledging he is scrutinising his own decision making processes ahead of that fixture, Wilder said: “There’s not much consistency in terms of selections, and part of that is because only one or two are really making themselves impossible to leave out. But maybe I also need to get it right a little bit more in terms of performances and team (selections).
“We have to be relative and realistic. I’m not saying that we can be right on top of our game all the time. But we need to be as near to it. That’s the situation we are in.”