Wilder claims Sheff Utd matched Leeds; names one player who was ‘excellent’

Date published: Sunday 27th September 2020 3:32

Chris Wilder says Sheffield United have enough strong characters to stop the rot after losing a third successive Premier League game without scoring.

Having started the season with defeats to Wolves and Aston Villa, the Blades this time lost out to Leeds in the Yorkshire derby.

Wilder’s men weren’t without their chances, with Leeds keeper Illan Meslier pulling off several top saves. Aaron Ramsdale was in fine form too, but Patrick Bamford headed home late on to condemn the hosts to defeat.

However, Wilder thinks his side caused more danger than their rivals.

He told Match of the Day: “We had the best chances. We should score the first goal, they had a couple of long range chances and a couple of free kicks in dangerous areas.

“They are a decent team, a high energy, high tempo side and I thought we matched that. It’s all about creating chances and putting them in the back of the net. We did the first bit but couldn’t do the second bit.

“They found a bit of magic from [Jack] Harrison even though I think it is a foul on Sander Berge.

“If we score the first goal the complexion of the game changes.”

‘AMPADU WAS EXCELLENT’

Wilder gave Ethan Ampadu his first Premier League start, although the Wales international had to play in a different role to usual.

However, his manager was impressed by the way he slotted into their defensive setup.

“It was totally new playing in a back three for Ethan [Ampadu] and I thought he was excellent,” he said. “There has not been much chance to integrate the players so they have to get on with it which they did.

“The shape, organisation and work rate was good. You can’t create the chance we have done today and be sitting on the crossbar but yet again opportunities to score and be clinical, which Leeds were and we weren’t, decide the game.”

‘WE HAVE ENOUGH CHARACTERS’

Before the match, Sheffield United confirmed that defender Jack O’Connell will have to have an operation on a knee injury.

Wilder says the news is another “huge blow” for his side when things are going against them – but he is confident they can find the right response.

“Jack [O’Connell] goes in for an operation on Wednesday and will be out for the season. It is a huge blow for us and him.

“It’s not going our way at the moment but it is a time to stand up stick your chest out and show what you are about in a lot of ways. Bravery in and out of possession, brave as a team. We have enough characters in there.

“It was a really tight game and the players will be thinking it’s one that has got away.

“I’d love one of those games where we get absolutely battered and the keeper makes save after save and we break away and nick one.”

READ MORE: Marcelo Bielsa insisted that Leeds deserved to beat Sheffield United, but refused to comment on speculation linking them with a move for Todd Cantwell.

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