Sheffield United manager's warning for sulking footballers

Chris Wilder has warned he doesn’t want to hear any sob stories from Premier League footballers as the competition enters its seventh week in lockdown.

Thursday, 23rd April 2020, 5:30 pm

Comparing the challenges facing those at the highest level of the game with his experiences at former club Northampton Town, where the players achieved promotion despite a crippling financial crisis, the Sheffield United manager insisted top-flight professionals have no reason to complain about being forced to isolate at home because of the coronavirus crisis.

“Players have got to keep themselves going,” Wilder said. “Do they just get the white flag out?

“We had a situation where the lads weren’t getting paid. You can’t feel sorry for yourself.

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“Without getting too historic or political, people have gone to war and they just had to get on with it.

“These lads aren’t stuck in a one bedroom flat with three or four people flying around. They’re well paid with lots of entertainment available to them. I’m not trying to look good or start a campaign against footballers. But all of us are in a privileged position and we should be the last people to start moaning and groaning about anything.”

United were seventh in the table when the season first ground to a halt, with Wilder and his squad now forced to work from home because of social distancing measures introduced to try and curb the spread of the disease.

With some figures within the game reportedly briefing clubs could receive permission to resume training early next month, United’s players have been issued with watt bikes to help maintain their fitness.

Locked gates at Bramall Lane, home of Sheffield United: Tim Goode/PA Wire.

Although he refused to be drawn on when he expects the Steelphalt Academy to reopen, Wilder said: “You’ve just got to believe it (football) will come back and be ready for when it does.

“We’re talking about fit, healthy, young men here with strong mentalities. I appreciate everyone is different and I’m not saying that everyone is as mentally tough as the next man. People are different, I get that and the foreign boys we’ve got over here must be wondering what on earth is going on.

“But it’s all part and parcel."

Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder: George Wood/Getty Images