The behind closed doors game being staged at Sheffield United's training complex

Sheffield United have arranged a behind closed doors game at their Steelphalt Academy training complex, in order to introduce Chris Wilder’s latest new signings to the pioneering tactics responsible for helping the club challenge for a place in Europe last season.

Wednesday, 9th September 2020, 5:15 pm

With United set to begin the new campaign on Monday, when Wolverhampton Wanderers are the visitors to Bramall Lane, Wilder wants to expose the likes of Oliver Burke, Ethan Ampadu, Jayden Bogle and Max Lowe to his interpretation of the 3-5-2 formation - which revolves around the use of attacking wing-backs and overlapping centre-halves.

Jack Robinson, who joined United from Nottingham Forest in January, has previously spoken about the difficulty of mastering the system Wilder devised soon after taking charge in 2016. Acknowledging it must be perfectly choreographed in order to function properly, the United manager took the decision to arrange the fixture between two teams made-up entirely of first team and development squad players.

“We felt it was important to do it,” Wilder explained. “We can work on things in the video room and point things out but ultimately, the quickest way players learn is by actually ‘doing’. So that’s why we’re doing this, between ourselves.”

Sign up to our Sheffield United newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

“We’ll make changes as we would usually during preseason,” he added. “We’ve not been able to do that during our friendlies because of everything (Covid-19) happening to the schedule. The matches we’ve had, and with internationals too, means we’ve not always been able to do what we’d have liked.”

An important message: Thank you to all who support local journalism with a digital or print subscription to The Star. The events of 2020 mean trusted, local journalism is more reliant than ever on your support. We couldn't do it without you. Subscribe here so we can keep campaigning on your behalf. Stay safe.

Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder wants to leave no stone unturned in pre-season: Glyn Kirk/Pool via Getty Images