LiveSheffield United news LIVE: Latest on Chris Basham, Jayden Bogle injuries | Chris Wilder on relationship with Jurgen Klopp | Press conferences ahead of Liverpool clash
It's press conference day as this weekend Sheffield United prepare for the visit of the champions.
Liverpool may not have the same swagger as they did last year and they’re certainly not the frightening prospect they were when they cruised to the title but it remains a huge challenge for the Blades who appear likely to be spending next season in the Championship.
We got the latest team news from Chris Wilder who has yet another reshuffle to deal with in defence after Chris Basham picked up a hamstring injury in the defeat to Fulham last week, while David McGoldrick faced the media this morning.
Here’s the best of what the pair had to say ahead of Sunday’s game...
Sheffield United news live: Blades press conference ahead of Liverpool
Last updated: Friday, 26 February, 2021, 14:35
The two became embroiled in a mini war of words earlier in the season...
Blades not looking past the Reds
We’re not looking beyond Liverpool on Sunday night, that’s been our focus on the last two or three days after the disappointment at the weekend. We believe we can win Sunday. Realistically we’ve got to play well and take our chances, they have an incredibly talented group of players, whoever they put out, and an incredible academy to draw upon if needed. They’ll cope with injuries in the best way possible for themselves.
Wilder on behind-closed-doors football
I can’t come on and say that it hasn’t affected myself, my staff, my players and the general football club, because it has. I’ve played in front of small crowds and managed in front of them, and you can hear every comment and word said about you! We didn’t get involved in the game to play in front of empty stadiums and I don’t think I or any manager or player can be criticised for saying it’s affected them. People will stay they’re still getting paid and it’s their responsibility to keep the game going, and they have done that. I don’t think there should be criticism of anyone if they talk about how it’s affected us and how we have missed people in the ground and in Beautiful Downtown Bramall Lane.
Wilder on last season’s meeting with Liverpool at the Lane
They were European champions and world champions, I gave Mr Klopp a bottle of champagne because of his achievements and then to win the Premier League by an enormous amount, blitzing everyone in sight, we knew we weren’t going to have the majority of the ball and dictate the game so in the smaller periods, we had to influence the game. We got off to a fabulous start and had a couple of chances which we didn’t take, and the inevitable happens when you don’t take them.
Wilder on ‘big moments'
We’re not the best team in possession and I don’t believe we’re the worst out of it, but the big moments we haven’t taken and I’ve said that since the first three or four games and I’m still saying it now. Frustration is the understatement of the year for everyone connected with Sheffield United.
Wilder on the approach to Sunday’s game
They’ve got to go into every game looking for a win, we know we’re up against it but that’s been the attitude throughout my time here. It’s become a little bit tiresome, talking about fine margins, but it’s the truth, big moments and other stuff we haven’t been able to control. We have to accept responsibility for big moments and the Fulham game was very similar to 75 or 80 per cent of our games last year. The West Ham game the week before the same. Nothing really in the game, a chance not taken, a mistake made. It was in our favour the year before.
Chris Wilder has just finished his pre-match press conference
and the big news to come out is probably that Chris Basham is expected to miss the next three-to-four weeks with a hamstring injury he picked up in defeat at Fulham.
Basham limped off at Craven Cottage and has given Wilder a further injury blow, after the absences of his defensive partners John Egan and Jack O’Connell.
“Bash is out for possibly three to four weeks, he’s hovering between the three and four week mark,” Wilder confirmed.
“We have the same muscle injuries from last season to this season and we were grateful to have a healthy record, and 80/90 per cent of our injuries have been impact injuries.”
Jayden Bogle is also out, as an after-effect of the challenge from Fulham goalkeeper Alphonse Areola late in the game at Fulham that left Wilder fuming.
“I was told by the assessment that it was in control and not reckless on Jayden,” Wilder added. “It’s put him out for two weeks and I’m delighted he’s not out for a big period. Another impact injury, which goes along with the others that we’ve had.”
All smiles ahead of Sunday’s clash
McG on van Dijk’s injury causing Liverpool issues
That’s how it is, if you miss a key piece then the whole thing unfolds. We’ve had that here, with Jack and Enda and Flecky and Sander, who are all key to the way we play. We’ve had our problems as well as them and when you miss key players like that, then results do change.
McG: Blades not accepting their fate yet
We’re not accepting we’re down. We’re going into Liverpool to win, and Villa and every game after that. Why can’t it be done? The manager is always positive, he’s the driving force of the club and he never changes, which is why the club has had so much success under him.
McG on his time at Bramall Lane
One million per cent the best time of my career and it’s crazy how it’s come so late, I wish I was 10 years younger. I’ve had a great two and a half years, it’s a pleasure to play for the club and I love every minute. I don’t want it to stop any time soon, I’ve got a fight on my hands to play every week because we’ve got six strikers. Not bad for an old man trialist like me, eh?
McG on Liverpool’s drop off
It’s crazy, you’d have never thought that with how strong they were last season, they were the best team I’ve played against and were like robots. Then some injuries have hurt them, as they have hurt us.
McG on why United have struggled
We have performed well in a lot of games but haven’t got the results, which is the difference. In both boxes, we haven’t been good enough – keeping it out and putting it in their net. That’s where you get punished in this league and we haven’t done what we’ve needed to do.
McG on three home games in a row coming up
It’s a huge period for us, we’ve got to make it tough as we can without fans and play fast, high-tempo football. If we get some points on the board and some momentum, you never know what can happen in this league.
McG on Sunday’s game
Everyone thinks it’s going to be an away win with where the teams are in the table but football is crazy, there’s still 39 points to play for and I still believe we can do it while it’s still possible. And I know the boys will be thinking the same.