Chris Wilder makes his case for Sheffield United defence

Chris Wilder, the new manager of Sheffield United
Chris Wilder, the new manager of Sheffield United
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SHEFFIELD UNITED manager Chris Wilder admits that bringing in some centre halves is ‘a massive priority’ – with the club’s current options being threadbare.

Wilder made his first raid on the transfer market this week, bringing in Burton winger Mark Duffy and Bury left-back Chris Hussey.

But now he is switching his focus to central defence, with Jay McEveley and Neill Collins having left their posts in recent times, leaving current options as minimal.

Wilder said: “It’s a massive priority.

“We need players who, first of all, want to defend. We need players who want to get up the pitch as well if we want to press. It is important we have energy and athleticism in the two centre halves as well as being good defenders.

“We haven’t got a (senior) centre half in the football club at the moment.

“We have a young kid who will potentially be a ‘player’ for us from the academy in Callum Semple, but he’s possibly six months away.

“We need tough defenders who are going to stick their heads on the line and do what they need to do to keep the ball out of the net.”

Stressing that he would like to bring in full-time as opposed to loan options in the heart of defence if possible, he added: “We are getting players chucked at us who we cannot get over the line as they are asking for too much money.”

“It has to fit in with the financial aspect of it, but we are working hard, whether season-long loans or permanent. In an ideal world, I’d like permanents.

“But we will look and explore and ideally we’d like everyone back in the building before the 23rd when we start. But there might be a couple who are slow-burners.

“The centre-half position is one we definitely need to change pretty quickly.”