Sheffield United boss Wilder remains grounded for campaign ahead

IF anyone thinks that Chris Wilder will feel he has made it when he leads Sheffield United out for their first Championship game since May 2011 today, then they probably do not know him too well.

Ready for action: Blades chief Chris Wilder. Picture: Robin Parker/Sportimage

Excitement and personal satisfaction will not be the 49-year-old’s prevailing emotion in his first match in charge in the second tier.

For him, it is about business and staying firmly grounded, with his previous experiences in management providing him with plenty of perspective.

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Speaking ahead of this afternoon’s game with visiting Brentford, Wilder said: “I don’t think my job really changes, if I am honest.

“The hardest stretch I had was when I turned up to Halifax on a Friday morning and got booted off the local park because they had a big game there on a Sunday. That is difficult to deal with.

“And when there was a dog show on at Halifax and we had to get moved. Then there was not getting paid at Northampton.

“I am comfortable in my own skin and I am comfortable with my coaching staff. It is about the whole package. Not where I am at.”

Meanwhile, Wilder has praised the mentality of new loan goalkeeper Jamal Blackman for stepping out of his comfort zone in a bid to push his career forward.

The Chelsea custodian, 23, who will make his debut today with Simon Moore out for four to six weeks with a knee problem, enjoyed a productive season-long loan at Wycombe Wanderers last term and could have re-signed with the Chairboys – but wanted to test himself at Bramall Lane this season.

Wilder added: “You see a lot of young players take an easy way out. He could have stayed at Wycombe and lived at home or gone back in at Chelsea and had his head rubbed every few weeks.

“But he has come up to the north and fair play to him.”