Steel City derby is ‘bigger than any other’ - Sheffield United’s Wilder blasts Sheffield Wednesday boss

Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder celebrates his side's victory over Wednesday at Hillsborough last season (Picture: PA)
Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder celebrates his side's victory over Wednesday at Hillsborough last season (Picture: PA)
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SHEFFIELD UNITED manager Chris Wilder has seized upon comments made by Sheffield Wednesday counterpart Jos Luhukay about the status of the Steel City derby - and has stressed it is the biggest game around for Blades and Owls supporters.

In his pre-match press conference ahead of Friday night’s Bramall Lane clash, Luhukay said that he had been involved in bigger derbies in Germany, in terms of attendances, when questioned about the game’s status in football.

Addressing the press in his own briefing and alluding to those comments, Wilder observed: “It is certainly the biggest derby I know. I know their manager said something today about it is not his biggest derby.

“But it is for me, my pals and my family and everyone connected with this football club. That is what it is for us and we will treat it that way.

“Speak to any Sheffield United and Sheffield Wednesday supporter and this is our derby and the biggest one we are all involved in.”

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Speak to any Sheffield United and Sheffield Wednesday supporter and this is our derby and the biggest one we are all involved in.

Chris Wilder

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Wilder admits he is expecting Wednesday to field their strongest available line-up and for all the Owls’ available ‘big-hitters’ to feature on Friday evening.

He added: “We will totally respect the opposition and the talented individuals what they have got. I am not being sucked into all the stuff that they have said about two or three of them not being ready for this and that.

“We have prepared all their big-hitters and superstars out to play full tilt and we have got to be ready for that.”

Meanwhile, Wilder has confirmed that Mark Duffy is fit for Friday night’s derby showdown.

He said: “He is fit and we have got everyone raring to go. We have had a great week. There is nobody in the treatment room and everybody has trained at top speed and fully this week.

“I have had some difficult decisions to make, but I have had to make them.”