CHRIS WILDER, the Sheffield United manager, believes the same hunger and desire that helped take Jamie Vardy from non-League to the England national team can be found among his own players.
They have to keep driving themselves forward as well. Some (footballers) lose the eye of the tiger but I am not expecting that from our group of players.Chris Wilder
The Leicester City striker is back in the Steel City today for a game that is likely to be the Blades’ stiffest test since returning to the top flight.
“I should imagine Jamie was written off as a kid,” said Wilder about a striker who scored against United in the FA Cup 18 months ago.
“So, he has that desire and hunger to prove people wrong. Whatever stokes his fire, really. I look at him and you don’t see a change in him, just because he has won the Premier League and has international caps.
“Obviously, from a financial point of view, his contract will have improved no end. But you still see that lad who played at Stocksbridge and wanted to prove people wrong.
“The same one that went to Halifax and Fleetwood. He keeps driving himself forward. A brilliant attribute to have.
“I have plenty here who have experienced similar. They have to keep driving themselves forward as well. Some (footballers) lose the eye of the tiger but I am not expecting that from our group of players.”
Wilder will today look to get one over Brendan Rodgers, the former Liverpool and Celtic manager. The pair met for the first time recently and the United chief was hugely impressed with his Foxes counterpart.
“We met at a Premier League meeting a couple of weeks we go,” said Wilder. “He was very complimentary about what we had done.
“It is great to be involved in those meetings. There were a lot of humble people there and they all recognise how hard this job is.
“They have great stories, as to where they started. Brendan was injured as a young player and concentrated on his coaching.
“It was nice to meet some of the guys I had never met, such as Marco (Silva) from Everton and a few others.
“Mind, I was checking my suit and was wondering if I needed to get an upgrade. But then Sean Dyche walked in wearing flip-flops, a t-shirt and a vest. I realised I had got it completely wrong. I looked like I was dressed up and going to dinner.”