Mark Duffy, the Sheffield United forward, has warned Sheffield Wednesday that grit and guile, rather than star names and inflated wage packets, will decide Friday’s Steel City Derby at Bramall Lane.
Duffy, who proved United's hero with a timely goal in the reverse fixture last season which United eventually won 4-2 at Hillsborough, is expected to declare himself available for selection this week after missing United's last two games with a hip complaint.
And the 33-year-old, who learned his craft at Vauxhall Motors and Prescot Cables before turning professional, provided a fascinating insight into the methodology and mental approach that has allowed Wilder and his squad to defy the financial odds.
When the two sides line up on Friday evening, Wilder’s most expensive purchase – £4million defender John Egan – will likely start, while Wednesday’s £10m misfit Jordan Rhodes will play for loan club Norwich City the day after against Millwall.
And Duffy, one of the first signings of Wilder's Bramall Lane revolution after arriving on a free transfer from Birmingham City, said: “If you look down the division, every team more or less could have been in the Premier League in the last ten years.
“Every team seems to think they have a right to be at the top, which they haven’t; it comes down to hard work, determination and what you do on the pitch.
“As the gaffer says, names on the back of shirts don't win games. It’s such a close division but I think we're up near the top of it on merit.”