Sheffield United's players are handed responsibility for taking care of business
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Speaking as English football prepares to enter its sixth week in lockdown, Wilder confirmed Billy Sharp and a small number of the United captain’s senior colleagues have been given responsibility for ensuring the squad is mentally and physically prepared to return to action competition resumes later this year.
United were chasing European qualification on two different fronts when the fixture calendar was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic last month, after climbing to seventh in the table and reaching the quarter-finals of the FA Cup, where they are due to face Arsenal.
“Billy is one of a number of pro’s I’ve got that run the dressing room and look after it,” Wilder said. “We’re able to do that because we know, because we’ve seen, how determined they are to do things the right way and how they want the best for the group and the club as a whole.”
Wilder has previously described handing Sharp the armband as the “best decision” he has made since taking charge of United four years ago, delivering promotion from League One at the first time of asking before guiding them out of the Championship last term.
The centre-forward, who recently admitted working under Wilder had inspired him to contemplate becoming a manager when he eventually retires, has organised a series of WhatsApp groups and activities on video conferencing facilities to ensure United’s overseas players, the majority of whom only moved to England in January, still feel connected as they are forced to train at home because of social distancing measures introduced by government.
"They must be wondering 'What have I stepped into?' because they've only just come here and then all this happened," Sharp admitted last week.
United were unbeaten in six outings when the PL and English Football League took the decision to mothball their seasons.
"The lads will be readt to go and pick up things up again," Wilder said.