Chris Wilder opts to deflect talk on his future with Sheffield United

Kieron Freeman celebrates scoring Sheffield United's third goal at Ashton Gate. Picture: Simon Bellis/Sportimage
Kieron Freeman celebrates scoring Sheffield United's third goal at Ashton Gate. Picture: Simon Bellis/Sportimage
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Chris Wilder declined to answer questions about his future after seeing his Sheffield United side clinch a top 10 Championship finish.

The manager, who has been linked with Sunderland, preferred to lavish praise on an outstanding first half display, capped by brilliantly taken goals from Leon Clarke, Billy Sharp and Kieron Freeman, which built a 3-0 lead.

Nearly 2,000 Blades fans chanted their support for Wilder, who afterwards said: “I have nothing more to say about my position. That is for another day.

“Today I want to talk about my team and the achievement of a top 10 finish in the Championship with a bottom six budget. I would like to thank my staff and everyone involved.

“I found the support for me humbling. But it is the players who should take the credit for a great last day performance against a team who have also had a very good season.

“We were fantastic in the first half and when we needed to defend in the second half the lads stood up and did the job.

“We may have missed out on our goal of reaching the play-offs, but I am proud of my players because we have finished above some big clubs.”

Clarke set the tone after eight minutes, finding the top corner of the net from 25 yards, and Sharp made it 2-0 after 29 minutes with a stunning volley that went in off the crossbar.

City were all over the place defensively and it was no surprise when United went three up five minutes later, Freeman matching Sharp’s volley with a similar one of his own.

Aden Flint gave the home side hope on the hour, converting Josh Brownhill’s left wing corner with a firm downward header.

Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder chats with Bristol City boss, Lee Johnson at Ashton Gate. Picture: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder chats with Bristol City boss, Lee Johnson at Ashton Gate. Picture: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

And after 75 minutes a tense finish was assured when Joe Bryan netted with a superb left-footed free kick from just outside the box.

But City paid dearly for their first half showing as their opponents moved above them by one place to finish 10th in the table.

Head coach Lee Johnson said: “There was no intensity to our play in the first half, yet in the second we showed what a good side we can be.

“That sums up our season. We can be very good or very bad”

I found the support for me humbling. But it is the players who should take the credit for a great last day performance against a team who have also had a very good season.

Chris Wilder

Bristol City: Fielding, Brownhill, Flint, Kelly (Semenyo 79), Bryan, Eliasson (O’Dowda 57), Pack, Smith, Paterson (Magnusson 46), Reid, Diedhiou. Unused substitutes: Taylor, Walsh, Steele, Bakinson.

Sheffield United: Moore, Basham, Stearman, O’Connell, Freeman (Baldock 63), Leonard (Lundstram 58), L Evans, Fleck, Stevens, Sharp (Brooks 80), Clarke. Unused substitutes: Duffy, Lafferty, Eastwood, C Evans.

Referee: Peter Bankes (Merseyside).