What Chris Wilder said on how he feels about his Sheffield United players

Chris Wilder has spoken of his pride at how Sheffield United’s players have acquitted themselves this season, after watching them finish ninth in the Premier League despite only being promoted from the Championship last term.

The Sheffield United team speak on pitch following the Premier League match between Southampton FC and Sheffield United at St Mary's Stadium (Photo by Andrew Boyers/Pool via Getty Images)
The Sheffield United team speak on pitch following the Premier League match between Southampton FC and Sheffield United at St Mary's Stadium (Photo by Andrew Boyers/Pool via Getty Images)

Speaking after United completed the 2019/20 campaign with a 3-1 defeat at Southampton - John Lundstram opening the scoring before Che Adams (2) and Danny Ings replied for the hosts - Wilder expressed disappointment with the result but insisted his squad deserve “enormous praise” for defying predictions they were destined for relegation.

“We’ve had to do an enormous amount of things right to stay in this division, let alone get into the top 10,” he said. “The togetherness of the group, the way they’ve expressed themselves, the way they’ve attacked it and the honesty of the lads’ approach. Those are the things I’ll look back on.”

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“We’re disappointed with the way it finished but hopefully people will judge us on the season as a whole,” Wilder added. “It’s always difficult for managers to comment on things like this because, really, I think it’s for other people to say what they’ve been most impressed with and proud of.

“But they’ve gone about their business brilliantly, they’ve represented the football club brilliantly and they’ve been really competitive throughout.”

United were well in contention for a place in Europe up until the final couple of games, when injuries and fatigue after an enerrgy-sapping season took their toll.