Sheffield United: Manager Chris Wilder says his squad has yet to reach its full potential after praising the club’s work during the transfer window

Martin Cranie and Marvin Johnson watch Saturday's victory over Aston Villa from the stands
Martin Cranie and Marvin Johnson watch Saturday's victory over Aston Villa from the stands

Chris Wilder, the Sheffield United manager, has insisted there is even more to come from his team after they confirmed their promotion credentials by thrashing Aston Villa.

United, who unveiled Martin Cranie before kick-off, climbed to third in the Championship table after dismantling the visitors with an explosive first half display.

Although Wilder was quick to downplay talk of another top six challenge - "We're six games in, there's a long way to go yet" - he acknowledged United should improve further when Crainie's fellow new arrivals Conor Washington and Marvin Johnson are properly assimiliated into his squad.

"Pound for pound, I think we've had a really good window," Wilder said. "We're evolving as a group and we've got a really good bunch of balanced professionals who are ready to work hard, have got talent and most importantly put in a shift.

"I think we can continue to improve. That's what we're always striving to do. The lads who have come in all bring something different to the table and the ones who have been here a while are all learning and getting better as we go along. There were certain things during the summer we identified and I believe we've taken care of them. Overall, if you look at the big picture, I think we're in a much stronger position than we were at the start of the window."

Wilder, who also brought the likes of Oliver Norwood, Ben Woodburn and John Egan to Bramall Lane before Friday's deadline, has prioritised experience since United fell agonisingly short in their pursuit of a top six finish last season.
Washington, previously of Queens Park Rangers, made his debut against Villa while Johnson, on loan from Middlesbrough, and former Huddersfield Town defender Cranie could both feature when United return to action at Bristol City following the international break.

"Martin knows the division," Wilder said. "He's an experienced operator and he knows the division inside out. Bash (Chris Basham) can slot in brilliantly to midfield and, with Ryan Leonard going out (to Millwall), Martin gives us more flexibility to do that if necessary. Marvin, as everybody knows, is someone we've been chasing for a while so we were delighted to get him in the building. He's got pace, he's left-footed and he can fill a variety of positions."

"Conor, I thought, showed what he's about," Wilder, whose side visit Sheffield FC for Matt Roney's testimonial on Tuesday, continued. "He's got power and pace as well and he likes to run at defenders and beyond them which is something we wanted as well."

Goals from Jack O'Connell, Mark Duffy and Norwood put United in the driving seat against Villa before Billy Sharp extended their lead. Anwar El Ghazi replied for the visitors but Steve Bruce's men were second best throughout.
"We scored at really good times," Wilder said. "I like to talk about taking the handbrake off and we did that. But we took care of the hard stuff, the blocks and the effort, first. That set the groundwork."