Chris Wilder backs Sheffield United players to leave the field if they are racially abused

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Chris Wilder says he will support his players if they want to come off the field because of racism, and has called on football fans to police their own stadia.

Chelsea's impressive win over Tottenham Hotspur was marred by accusations of racist abuse towards Blues defender Antonio Rudiger from the White Hart Lane stands.

Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder

Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder

It is just the latest in a serious of incidents that have stained this season, at home and abroad.

The protocol allows for teams to leave the field after two warnings over the stadium tannoy, if they want to. Sunday's first warning was repeated three times over the public address system.

If the Blades were to leave the field in those circumstances, Wilder would have no problem with it.

“I don't know whether the player have had conversations in the dressing room but it's not filtered through to the coaching staff if they have,” said Wilder when asked if there had been any discussions about what to do if an incident happened in a Sheffield United match.

“But we're all on the same page.

“I support whatever they want to do, but it's not a straight-forward decision. If the collective or the individual wants to take action, they can do that because it's unacceptable.”

Wilder also stressed fans have a part to play in weeding unwanted idiots out of their grounds.

“I always thought it was (a problem for the wider) society, and then people like that attach themselves to clubs and grounds,” he said. “But if you are sat next to someone who is doing it, just out them. Be brave. Police your own grounds and your own clubs.

“With all the technology at grounds nowadays, I'm sure you can zoom right onto any seat in any ground up and down the country, you can isolate and punish them.

“If somebody's coming out with this terrible, terrible stuff, isolate them and get them out.”

The Blades are back in action at home to Watford on Boxing Day, and go into the game on the back of one defeat in their last 11 matches, and with no fresh injury concerns from their 1-0 win at Brighton and Hove Albion.

John Fleck is available again after suspension, but Luke Freeman did a good job as his stand-in, as goalscorer Oli McBurnie did having been chosen ahead of top-scorer Lys Mousset. I leaves Wilder with some difficult choices to make for Thursday.

“I think we’ve had selection headaches right the way through the season, from Billy (Sharp, the captain who has been unable to secure a regular starting point) right the way through. That’s the attitude of the group. I think you see that when they perform.

“We made a change (up front) on Saturday, and obviously Lys was disappointed.

“I always have to do what's right for the team but when he came on he wanted to affect the game.

“That’s why we’ve had, I think, the consistency (of performances and results), because of that attitude among the boys, wanting to push the lads in the starting XI.”