Sheffield United v Scunthorpe United: There’s never been so much pressure, says Blades boss Chris Wilder

Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder (Picture: Simon Bellis/Sportimage).
Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder (Picture: Simon Bellis/Sportimage).
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Manager Chris Wilder believes there is more pressure on his current crop of Sheffield United players than any Blades generation over the last four decades.

That encompasses the teams of Neil Warnock and Dave Bassett, so it is an assertion sure to open up debate, but Wilder is well placed to comment.

The 49-year-old had two spells as a player with his boyhood club in the Eighties and Nineties, and realised a dream when he returned to manage his beloved Blades in the summer.

Wilder believes no previous Blades teams have had to endure the same pressure heaped on United, over the last five years, as they have battled to escape League One.

Ever since they were pipped for automatic promotion by city rivals Wednesday five years ago, United have been tipped for promotion only to fall short each season.

A succession of managers, including Danny Wilson, Nigel Clough and Nigel Adkins, have failed to bring success.

But under Wilder, United head League One going into their top-of-the-table encounter with Scunthorpe United.

“Over the last four or five years, the group of players at this club have had the largest amount of pressure placed on them – week-in, week-out – to get out of this division,” said Wilder.

“Because, if you are in the Championship or Premier League, would they be under this pressure? It’s okay saying you have the tools to do it, it’s still got to be done.

“If you go back, especially in the time I have watched and been involved with this football club, there’s possibly more pressure now than on any other group of players.

“When I played here, there was a bit of pressure to get out of the old Third Division, no real pressure to get out of the Second Division into the old First Division/Premier League.

“When we were in the Premier League, there was no real pressure to stay there.

“We had four points at Christmas one year and there wasn’t any pressure, riots outside and people chucking season tickets at managers or owners.”