Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder has promised to come down hard on any player suspected of taking promotion for granted, despite his team’s commanding lead at the top of League One.
But Wilder, speaking ahead of tonight’s visit to Swindon Town, insisted complacency is not an issue at Bramall Lane after praising his squad’s “humility” and “respect” for opponents.
“I want players to be confident in their own ability and confident in their team mates,” he said. “But I hate arrogance and I hate ‘big time’. If we smell any of that, then we’ll jump all over it. But I’ve got to say, the lads are policing their own dressing room very well.
“We always have the ultimate respect for the opposition. If you drop down into a division, you have to respect the teams that are in it. You have to respect them to overcome the challenges.”
United, eight points clear of second-placed Fleetwood Town with 10 matches remaining, will assess Jake Wright (nose) and Mark Duffy (knee) before naming their starting eleven at the County Ground where Town, in 22nd, are without the suspended Bradley Barry.
“You’ve got base everything on humility,” Wilder said. “What are the things that are going to get chucked at us? ‘Big-time, arrogant, the season is coming to an end’. We look at what other people are saying about us and ask ‘is this us?’ I’ve got to say, it isn’t. We’ll always respect the opposition and the competition, how tough it is.”
“We expect everybody to bring their best game to play us, home or way,” Wilder added. “This match will be no different. They can have a night, quite easily, where it all goes right for them. We’ve all come from working class backgrounds and worked our ways up. You have to have respect for the game. If you don’t turn up, you’ll get hurt.”