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Blackburn Rovers v Sheffield United: Wilder rails against fixtures inequality again as Blades tackle Rovers

Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder remains bemused by the unfair hand dealt to his side by the fixtures schedulers (Picture: Robin Parker/Sportimage).
Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder remains bemused by the unfair hand dealt to his side by the fixtures schedulers (Picture: Robin Parker/Sportimage).
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MANAGER Chris Wilder has reiterated his sense of injustice at Sheffield United being afforded a day less to recover than a Championship rival – for the second time in a fortnight.

After this evening’s Roses appointment at Blackburn Rovers the Blades are quickly back in action in Saturday’s home Yorkshire derby with Hull City, who will have the benefit of an extra’s day’s preparation following their game with Leeds United last night.

It was the same scenario for the Blades after the previous round of midweek league fixtures when Preston North End – their opponents on September 22 – had an additional 24 hours to prepare.

Speaking last month, Wilder said the club planned to raise his concerns over fixture scheduling at an EFL meeting, having also been angered by the decision to bring forward the trip to Middlesbrough to August 6 – with the game originally scheduled for August 21.

Wilder said: “I got it off my chest, had a moan up and let it go. But it still baffles us, so we have got to get through this period. There is an obvious advantage to us is there?

“It is not sour grapes, but it should be more equal. After this we go Tuesday to Saturday, so it is back to a more level playing field.

“If you ask experts in their field – who have come out of school, gone to university and then done courses for 10 or 15 years – if 24 hours’ recovery time gives you an advantage they will tell you, yes, there is.

“If you flipped it, would we rather be playing Tuesday and then Saturday with the opposition starting on a Wednesday? The answer would be yes.”

Away from his grievances at scheduling issues, Wilder admits to professing satisfaction at his side’s strong start to the Championship season for a second campaign running.

Wilder, whose side face a Blackburn outfit who boast a 25-match unbeaten home league record at Ewood Park – stretching back to September 2017 – said: “Nineteen points from 10 games is a healthy return and we are going along nicely. The boys are in form and look like they are enjoying their football.

“They are an easy group to manage. But there is still a lot of football to be played, though.”

Last six games: Blackburn LDDWLD Sheffield United WWLDWW.

Referee: R Jones (Merseyside).

Last time: Blackburn 2 Sheffield United 1; February 3, 2007; Premier League.