Sheffield United: Why former Brentford star Simon Moore has his manager’s respect and sympathy

Simon Moore has impressed Chris Wilder with his attitude: Simon Bellis/Sportimage
Simon Moore has impressed Chris Wilder with his attitude: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

When Dean Henderson completed the umpteenth save of his goalkeeping masterclass against Rotherham last weekend, Simon Moore knew any chance he had of starting tomorrow's visit to Brentford was probably gone.

Barring injury, illness or something terrible befalling the on-loan youngster, another match on the bench beckoned.

Moore's suspicions were confirmed earlier this morning during Chris Wilder's first pre-match press conference since the draw with Paul Warne's side. But the 26-year-old, who spent four seasons at Griffin Park earlier in his career, can at least console himself with the knowledge that, despite Henderson's heroics, he remains very much in the manager's thoughts.

"I made a comment in the changing room that Simon is someone I feel really sorry for," Wilder said. "Not only is he a fantastic professional, he's a fantastic lad as well. 

"It is difficult for those players because they don't see an opening. But things can happen pretty quickly.

"Is Dean going to come out on current form? I don't think so. But it only takes an injury, a suspension or something else and then the chance opens up."

Dean Henderson has been in excellent form so far this season: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

Dean Henderson has been in excellent form so far this season: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

Henderson, aged 21, has been in superb form since completing his temporary transfer from Manchester United. Wilder, not usually prone to highlighting individuals, described him as one of "our top three performers" of the campaign so far before departing for west London. Given that reluctance, it also speaks volumes about Wilder's respect for Moore that he shoe-horned his name into a conversation about the England under-21 international.

"Simon, with the way he's carried himself, when he does get that opportunity, you know he's going to be in decent nick to carry on Dean's good work."

Wilder has a professional as well as personal interest in praising Moore's work behind the scenes. Fifth in the Championship and eyeing at least a play-off spot, United's coaching staff could be forced to reshuffle their options over the Christmas period if the busy schedule takes its toll.

"I've told the boys nobody here is bullet proof," Wilder said. "Nobody is guaranteed a place in the team so they've got to perform and, as we saw here, anything can happen."

Chris Wilder is delighted with his two goalkeepers: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

Chris Wilder is delighted with his two goalkeepers: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

Wilder was referring to Jamal Blackman's sending-off during United's 1-1 draw with Brentford in March following an altercation with Ryan Woods. Moore, who had missed the start of the season through injury, was summoned from the sidelines and started the next three games.

"People have got to be ready to step in at a moment's notice," Wilder added. "When they do, they've got to make sure they're in a position to perform because it's all about the group. Without that, you won't stand a chance of achieving a thing."