Sheffield United: ‘My ties to Bramall Lane won’t count for anything if we start losing games’

Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder
Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder

Chris Wilder has exposed the harsh reality of life as a Championship manager, admitting his past achievements and allegiance to Sheffield United will not spare him from criticism if the club starts losing games.

Wilder was speaking ahead of Saturday's visit to Derby County, where former Chelsea and England midfielder Frank Lampard took charge during the close season.

Derby County manager Frank Lampard

Derby County manager Frank Lampard

United, who entered the international break on top of the table after winning four games in a row, lifted the League One title during Wilder's first year in charge before challenging for the play-offs last term.

But after backing Lampard to prove a success at Pride Park, the lifelong United supporter said: "It's a difficult job, we all understand that. Frank will understand that as much as anyone else. 

"He's been a top player and you don't get to the heights he did without having that inner drive and determination. He'll have gone in to this to replicate what he did as a player. But it's a different ball game. You don't get handed anything now because of what you did as a player. I was asked a question this week about my connection with here. It will quickly run out if I don't win games of football. It will quickly run out the same way for Frank and for Dean (Smith) at Aston Villa. It's the same for all of us."

Despite making a strong start to the new campaign, Wilder insisted nobody at Bramall Lane is resting on their laurels or growing complacent.
"We won't strut and stroll around, thinking that we've made it," he continued. Because, I'll tell you know we haven't. 

"We'll carry on as we are, everyone plays a part. That goes from the players, the staff right through to the people working in the ticket office. Everyone. We're all a part of this club and this group."

"It's a new group that's going well but it's going well after 12 games," Wilder added. "Any team that stands still and thinks it's made it, especially us, won't make it. That's for certain. So we've got to keep on trying to drive things forward."

County have prepared for the match in eighth after winning seven and losing four of their 15 outings under Lampard. The three-time Premier League title winner, who also won the Champions League during his time at Stamford Bridge, took a different route into management than Wilder, who started his coaching career with non-league Alfreton.

"I haven't had the experiences of other managers," he said. "But other managers have not had the same experiences as me. Everyone is different."