‘We owe it to Sheffield United fans to entertain,’ says Chris Wilder

Chris Wilder gives Blaes fans a wave at Bramall Lane on Saturday. Pic: Simon Bellis/Sportimage
Chris Wilder gives Blaes fans a wave at Bramall Lane on Saturday. Pic: Simon Bellis/Sportimage
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Chris Wilder has insisted footballers have a duty to entertain ahead of Monday’s Championship fixture against Derby County.

Wilder, who took charge of Sheffield United 20 months ago, admitted his decision to adopt an expansive, attack-minded approach was in part influenced by a desire to ensure supporters enjoy value for money at Bramall Lane.

“That was the first thing we wanted to do when we came into the club, change the style and the approach to games,” he said. “Changes that fit in line with what I believe I want us to play, and the supporters want to see. It’s important, there’s a lot of clubs who win games but maybe the supporters don’t like the way they go about it. I had a blank sheet at the start of last season on what we wanted to do, and how we wanted to go about things.”

Wilder’s determination to ensure United’s followers are rewarded for their loyalty puts him at odds with many of his Premier League and second-tier counterparts, who insist results must always come first.

However, as United’s achievements since his appointment demonstrate, it is impossible to deliver both.

“It works, I enjoy it, enjoy watching it, and hopefully everybody else enjoys watching it,” Wilder, whose side won the League One title last season, said. “I don’t think you get 30,000 fans on Boxing Day if they don’t enjoy it. We are in a good place, but we want to kick on and we want to keep improving. Having the fans behind you, and ours have been fantastic, helps you do that.”