What the managers of Sheffield United and AFC Bournemouth had to say about THAT touchline bust-up

Chris Wilder and Eddie Howe both made light of the second-half touchline spat which ended with a security guard being forced to separate AFC Bournemouth’s Andrew Surman from members of the Sheffield United bench.

Sunday, 9th February 2020, 5:03 pm
Updated Monday, 10th February 2020, 9:50 am

Wilder and the visiting midfielder were both shown yellow cards following the incident, which appeared to be sparked when Surman tried to retrieve the ball from the United manager after it had rolled into the technical area.

Speaking after watching his team climb to fifth in the Premier League table thanks to goals from Billy Sharp and John Lundstram, Wilder, who was also angered by the theatrics of some Bournemouth players, said: “I accepted it (the caution). I’m still coming to terms with things in this division so I’ll leave it at that.

“I’ve got no problem with Eddie or Jason (Tindall, Howe’s assistant). I know them really well.

“They want to win and we want to win. I want a result for my team.

“I think it would be a shame for the game if you didn’t have people showing a bit of passion out there. Seriously, it was nothing.”

Referee Jonathan Moss seemed to concur, electing to simply book Wilder and Surman rather than take more serious action.

Wilder’s refusal to get drawn into a debate about Bournemouth’s conduct during the game – Philip Billing, Harry Wilson and Dan Gosling were among those to miraculously recover after being left writhing in apparent agony following innocuous challenges – was a mark of his respect for Howe and his staff rather than the opposition’s conduct.

Players intervene as Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder (left) and Bournemouth's Andrew Surman (second right) exchange words on the touchline before both receiving yellow cards during the Premier League match at Bramall Lane, Sheffield: Danny Lawson/PA Wire.

Wilder’s counterpart also brushed aside questions about the skirmish afterwards, preferring instead to criticise his side’s defending for both of United’s efforts after Callum Wilson had fired Bournemouth in front.

“It was nothing,” Howe said. “It was a misunderstanding.

“Andrew wanted the ball back. There’s no problem with Chrissy, from me or him (Surman).

“There’s no problem with Chrissy whatsoever. It was really nothing. Nothing at all.”