Sheffield United rediscover valuable bond with supporters as "humbled" Chris Wilder admits big Burnley hope

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Sold-out away end back their Sheffield United side in fine voice before emotional ovation at end of Brentford defeat

Chris Wilder believes that the bond between Sheffield United’s players and fans has taken a huge step forward in recent weeks after the Blades’ efforts in defeat at Brentford on Saturday were acknowledged in the away end. As Brentford’s players and manager began their own victory lap with scenes in the home end reminiscent of winning the FA Cup, travelling Blades showed their appreciation to their beaten players with a heartfelt and spontaneous reception.

A side that was widely decried after a dreadful run of home form earlier this year has rediscovered a solid identity and only a deflected goal, and then a second in injury time as United threw strikers on to try and get back in the game, saw them denied a result at Brentford. A lack of quality in and around the box cost United, with Ben Brereton Diaz wasting an early golden chance, but Ivo Grbic in the away goal was hardly inundated with efforts to save, with only one shot from sub Keane Lewis-Potter causing him any real trouble.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The turning point seemed to be at Bournemouth away just before the international break, when a beaten and bruised United side fresh from a 6-0 home hammering by Arsenal dragged themselves off the canvas and were only denied what would have been a huge three points by a late equaliser. Unitedites on that day were full of appreciation for their side’s show of spirit and character and have stayed with Wilder’s men ever since, home or away.

Asked on Saturday whether the post-match scenes felt like that bond was back, Wilder admitted: “Yes, it does. I feel that, and the players feel that. They mentioned that and I recognise that. I’m not here to gain favour on anything but the last two weeks have been quite humbling, to be honest. With the position the club is in and the points tally that we’ve got. But it never felt last week [against Chelsea], with 30-odd thousand in Bramall Lane on a Sunday, that we were in the position that we are.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“Even today, it never felt that way, the position that we’re in. We feel we’re a competitive side and the supporters recognise that. We have to keep doing what we need to do and there’s no doubt, 100 per cent, that the supporters will stay with the team right the way through until the last kick of the season. The last few games have not been backs-against-the-wall games where we’ve had to suffer for 80 or 85 minutes and getting absolutely pummelled. We’ve been, in my opinion, in all of those games and we’ve got to keep going.”

Next up for the Blades is a home clash against second-bottom Burnley at Bramall Lane which United are expected to go into with yet more injury concern, after Jayden Bogle limped off at Brentford and joined skipper Jack Robinson on the list of injury doubts for the rest of the season. “We have to go again next week,” Wilder added.

“We’ve got no other way to handle it and it’s not the way I want to see us handle it. We’ll have 30 thousand there and hopefully, we’ll be healthy enough to put out a decent side and we’ve got to go again. And we will do. Right the way through until the end of the season against Spurs.”

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.