Sheffield United will fight to the bitter end, insists Chris Wilder

Chris Wilder says Sheffield United are going to be “really competitive” in the second half of the season, having been just that at Manchester City.

Chris Wilder manager of Sheffield Utd. Picture: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

The Blades won just one of their first 19 matches of the Premier League campaign, but two games into the reverse fixtures they have already equalled that and Wilder is certain they will add to it.

With a 13-point gap to safety and only 17 matches to make it up, the Blades still look strong favourites to go down but Wednesday’s win at Manchester United, followed by a battling performance at Eastlands where they might have snatched a 1-1 draw if only John Fleck had taken his chance to cancel out Gabriel Jesus’s strike has given the side belief ahead of tomorrow’s visit of one-from-bottom West Bromwich Albion.

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“I don’t want us to go out the back door and be looked at as a team that just turned it in,” said manager Wilder. “You’ve not seen that all season and certainly not in the last two weeks.

“To come to Man City and go a goal down after nine minutes, this is an incredibly tough place to get something. They’ve raised their game over the last two months but it was a tough ask even if they had been playing as well as people thought they were (at the start of the season).

“We made it uncomfortable for them and we’ve got to make it uncomfortable for the teams above us and the teams we’re playing.

“I think we’re going to be a really competitive side for the second part of the season. I can see us winning games, I can’t answer the question of how many, but I can see us winning games and I think the players believe that.”

Wilder had hoped to strengthen his squad with two loan signings this month, but with no more business possible after tonight’s 11pm deadline he now looks resigned to not doing so, saying: “I’m not so sure anything will happen at our football club between now and the deadline.”

Ben Davies, the Preston North End centre-back Wilder first targeted in the summer after Jack O’Connell’s season-ending injury, is said to be in talks over a £2m move to Liverpool.

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