NEW Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder has vowed to turn Bramall Lane into an intimidating cauldron for visiting sides after landing his dream job in charge of his boyhood club.
The Blades moved swiftly to appoint the Northampton Town chief on a three-year deal after sacking Nigel Adkins yesterday morning, with the 51-year-old paying the price for the club’s 11th placed finish in League One in 2015-16 – their worst season in over three decades.
Former Blades player Wilder, 48, who held talks with Charlton Athletic about their vacant post earlier this week and was also linked with Bolton Wanderers, has penned a three-year deal.
He will be assisted by his No 2 at Northampton, former Rotherham boss Alan Knill, with the pair fresh from helping the Cobblers lift the League Two title – their haul of 99 points was the best tally in the basement since Plymouth’s 102 in 2001-02.
Northampton’s head of sports science Matt Prestridge has also joined the Blades.
Yorkshireman Wilder, who has kept his family in Sheffield, said: “A lot of supporters already know me and those who do not will soon realise that I am loyal, hard-working, straight-talking, thorough and whole-hearted in everything that I do.
“Obviously, people know my connection with the club as a supporter and former player and I want Bramall Lane to return to being an intimidating place – I don’t want the players to feel it is a burden, playing in front of 20,000 fans.”
Wilder has become the Blades’ ninth permanent manager in as many years.
Co-owner Kevin McCabe said: “We are aware that Chris is popular with the supporters; however, this is not a sentimental appointment. He has a proven track record and is hungry to bring success to the Blades.”
Wilder’s predecessor Adkins admitted to being disappointed by his departure, less than a year after taking over.
He said: “I am naturally very disappointed not to be able to continue the good work going on behind the scenes, which I am confident will be of benefit to the club going forward. I wish the club and the supporters the best of luck for the future.”