Chris Wilder admits Sheffield United not committed enough last season but no 'cop outs' asking for time to rebuild

Chris Wilder says he is not looking for the managerial "cop out" of asking for time for a new, more committed Sheffield United team to take shape, with everything geared to hitting the ground running back in the Championship.

The Blades are set for a major revamp with a clearout of the ageing core who served them so well in Wilder's first spell as manager following a dismal relegation from the Premier League with just 16 points.

Wilder, who admitted last season's squad lack "universal commitment" expects his recruitment to be based around "small fees, frees and loans" to supplement home-grown youngsters such as Oliver Arblaster, although if rumours of an American buy-out come to pass, his budget could change.

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Either way, the much-loved buzzword "transition" – something about 90 per cent of professional football clubs seem to be going through at any one time – is sure to get a good airing.

"I'm not going to try and buy myself time because if good players go into a club and play with good players it shouldn't take an awful lot of time to gel," insisted Wilder.

"Sometimes it's a bit of a cop out.

"If I can put Kevin De Bruyne in a midfield with Declan Rice, Martin Odegaard and James Maddison, I'm not sure that midfield will take a lot of time to gel because they're good players who understand the game.

"We're going to try and bring in good players who understand the game, experienced players and talented young players but most importantly the physical and mentality boxes must be ticked.

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NO COP OUT: Sheffield United manager Chris WilderNO COP OUT: Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder
NO COP OUT: Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder

"I don't think we had universal 100 per cent commitment in this group but I think the majority (of fans and pundits) understand where we are."

Leeds United’s slow start to the Championship season just gone cost them automatic promotion.

"We'll hit the ground running regardless of what team we put out there," promised Wilder.

"It's going to be tough to bring in all the players we want to. There'll be disappointments, we'll lose some, but we'll have a positive pre-season and hit the ground running. There's no excuses.

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"We need to be competitive, we need to set our sights on returning to the Premier League in year one or two because that's the biggest opportunity for any relegated team to get back in from a financial point of view with the rewards and parachute payments.

"We won't go overboard and silly but we'll be competitive in terms of what we can offer.

"The majority will be small fees, frees and loans so we're going to have to work extremely hard to get those players but we'll be okay and there'll be no hangover.

"We're not putting ourselves in the position some of the Premier League clubs have in terms of financial difficulties.

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"It's up to me to put a team together. Straight away we've made decisions on players, on loans going back and on players I don't think want to be here and players that don't take us forward.

"We have to maximise their sale price.

"It's the biggest challenge that I've ever had, bigger than playing in the first team or managing here at the start and in a daft way I'm the most determined, excited, committed I've ever been to get it right.”

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