What Middlesbrough fans can expect from former Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder

It was inevitably going to happen one day but the sight of Chris Wilder holding up a shirt other than that of his beloved Sheffield United was always going to jar the eyes a little.

Sunday, 7th November 2021, 12:00 pm

Wilder's appointment at Middlesbrough today ends his longest spell out of football since he entered it as a young man and if his Boro spell is even half as eventful as the ride he enjoyed at United, fans at the Riverside are in for a hell of a ride.

What can Middlesbrough fans expect from Chris Wilder

Wilder is also reunited at Boro with his long-time assistant Alan Knill, although former United goalkeeping coach Darren Ward recently took up a position with the England Lionesses.

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The journey Wilder and Knill led United on is well documented, even if their subsequent relegation - and Wilder's departure back in March - tainted things somewhat in the eyes of some Blades fans.

But the highs were unbelievable. At their best under Wilder, United were brave and fearless, taking the game to teams using a mix of old-school values and tactical innovations.

He reunited a club that was horribly disjointed when he arrived and was completely honest in his approach.

He saw what fans saw and spoke their language, helping to elevate players to a level they had never reached before in their careers before forces conspired to accelerate his Bramall Lane exit.

Former Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder is the new manager of Middlesbrough (Photo by MIKE EGERTON/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Boro are four points off the play-offs - three places above the Blades - after drawing with promotion-chasing West Brom over the weekend and on the face of it, Wilder and Boro seem a great fit.

An invested owner - a proper football man, to use a Wilder term - who appears from the outside to back his manager but trust him to do his job, too.

A fan base that get behind their side, even when things aren't going ideally on the field.And a squad of players packed with quality but perhaps with some points to prove.

Wilder and Knill will return to Bramall Lane on New Year's Day and will surely receive a rousing reception.

For two such iconic figures in this club’s long history, it will be well deserved.