Chris Wilder explains why this season is different for Sheffield United

Date published: Sunday 18th October 2020 3:54 - Samuel Bannister

Chris Wilder knows it will be a difficult season for Sheffield United after they drew with Fulham.

Wilder’s side lost their first four games of the season, and looked on course for a fifth defeat until Billy Sharp scored a late equaliser from the penalty spot.

Their early season form has been a major contrast to last year, when they finished in the top half in their first season back in the Premier League.

And the Blades boss admits he is very happy to get off the mark this season, even if they didn’t make the most of their first half performance.

“Delighted to get a result, disappointed we didn’t come in at half time upping the game,” he told Match of the Day.

“We were a little bit more like our old selves in the first half and had control of the game but we were not like our old selves in the second half. First half us, they dominated the second half.

“It is a bit of a battle at the moment, a bit of a grind but delighted to get something out of the game.

“I am not going to complain about the decision because we have talked about some that have gone against us this season so we have had a touch of luck today. We will take that and I think it is due.”

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Wilder brought on recent signing Rhian Brewster, who joined the club from Liverpool, for his Premier League debut.

But despite spending relatively big on Brewster, the Sheffield United manager admitted they are in a different situation in the transfer market to other clubs at this level.

“Rhian has come into the football club to make us better and we are delighted he has come,” he said. “Billy Sharp is one of the players at the top end of the pitch and he adds to the group. This is the evolution of the club we have to do.

“We are not in a situation where we can spend £400m on defenders, that is the competitions we are in. It is relentless and it is not just one of the top teams, it is right the way through.

“We can’t deal with those sorts of figures so we have to go a different way and the different way is the likes of Aaron Ramsdale and Brewster and a little springing of Billy Sharp.”

Wilder denies ‘desperation’

Expanding on what has changed for his side between last season and the current campaign, Wilder suggested they need to play with more freedom.

However, despite their shaky start, he insists they are ahead of schedule in their attempts to establish themselves at Premier League level.

“We are not playing with that freedom and confidence we had because of the start to the season but small acorns and that. Hopefully it will kick us on to better things.

“I don’t think desperation comes into it, more a word that is not as strong as that. Elementary mistakes, people giving balls away, cheap play. They are good players, they are just going through that bit of anxiety at the moment.

“It was a difficult one because we did not have any control of the game. The players need to clear their heads a little bit. They have done fantastically well to get into this position and they need to enjoy it as well. I was delighted with the first half, I felt we controlled it.

“We are in the Premier League way ahead of time but we were never not going to come into it. When the door opened a couple of years ago we were going to jump into it. We were just lacking that bit of belief and hopefully we will kick on.

“We want to be in the Premier League but we understand as well it is tough. Our position last year will have raised people’s hopes around here but I knew it was going to be difficult. When you don’t get the start you want to have it makes it a bit difficult for us.”

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