Sheffield United travel to Ewood Park tomorrow hoping to keep their promising start to the season going.
And ahead of the trip to face Blackburn Rovers, manager Chris Wilder faced the media this morning at his pre-match press conference. Here are the key themes that were discussed.
Team news: No issues apart from trying to pick the team and trying to get it right. We might have to look at the team, anything can happen injury wise. Kean Bryan played for the U23s yesterday and only having Jake Wright unavailable is fantastic news.
Jake Wright: He’s back on the grass, just waiting in the next week to ten days to join first-team training and then he’ll start the process with U23 games.
Like for like replacements: That was the aim in the summer with transfer dealings. Versatile players and like-for-like players all over the pitch. I said I wanted to look at the back of the programme and have a proper squad.
Amount of changes made to team: We always look at ourselves to see if we did the right things, maybe I made too many changes for Birmingham. But I don’t go along with the idea that it was a poor performance, and that sort of annoyed me a bit. We’re second season in the Championship, teams are showing us a lot of respect with how they set up and we’ve come a long way in a short space of time but we have to keep our feet on the ground. We’re not a great side, we don’t have a divine right to play well every game, but we’ll try our best to get a result. And we’re playing well.
Start to the season: 19 points from 10 games is a healthy return and we’re going along nicely, boys are in-form and look like they’re enjoying their football. They’re an easy group to manage. Still a lot of football to be played, though.
‘Mad’ five minutes against Millwall: We dominated the first half and we’re not daft enough to have our feet up at half-time and talk about what’s happening on Sunday. We know there’ll be a reaction from the opposition. They play in a way and force the opposition back and Jake Cooper at 6ft 7in is difficult to deal with. We had ways to try and stop it, we had Oli Norwood on the line but he unfortunately just misread the flight, and all of a sudden they have their tails up. We’re not a great team and don’t have any given right to have 100 per cent of the game, all the time. We have to accept that.
Dean Henderson: He’s a character, a good kid, daft as a brush but he’s committed and you’ve seen his reaction to some of our goals and everyone here thinks the world of him. He’s had a good start to his Sheffield United career and long may that continue. You have to have big character to be involved with this football club because there’s an expectation to perform and get results. And he’s a big character.
Blackburn: It’s a tight division, can they turn losses into draws and draws into wins? We’re all trying to do that. They’ve got an experienced manager and a fantastic home record from last year, they’ve kept the core of the team and didn’t have a fire sale after relegation, turned bids down and then this year they go and spend a bit of money too. They're an ambitious football club that want to do well in the Championship and no reason they won’t do well this season.
Rovers’ threats: The front two from last year have carried their form onto this season, we’ve taken some good players out of League One and Bradley Dack is doing it in the Championship now, he’s gone on to prove he’s a Championship player. We look at it from every aspect as I’m sure they look at us and say he’s a decent player and they do this and that. We understand their threats and they’ll understand ours as well. All going into what I think will be a really good game of football, there’s no way we’ll sit back and sit on the crossbar and they’ll want to keep their record going. So it’ll be two positive teams looking to get a result.