ANTIPATHY may be the order of the day in the Hillsborough stands tomorrow but the men at the helm of the two teams possess a refreshingly healthy respect for each other.
Chris Wilder and Carlos Carvalhal will both be desperate to get one over the other when the Steel City rivalry resumes on Sunday lunchtime but it isn’t too long ago since the pair shared a car journey together after a manager’s function.
“We were in Manchester one night and he offered me a lift back,” said lifelong Blade Wilder. “I thought that was quite good of him because I wouldn’t have offered it him.
“No, seriously, he is a nice guy. I have seen him at a couple of functions. Getting to a play-off final, and playing some outstanding football that year, you have got to recognise that – even if we don’t want to admit that too much.”
Carvalhal, in his third season at Hillsborough, was equally complimentary about his passenger on that journey back from Manchester.
“He has done very well since joining Sheffield United,” said the Portuguese.
“They had a fantastic season last year.
“They are playing with the same philosophy this year and doing very well.
“We have met each other a couple of times and talked a little about football. I can’t say that he is my friend because I have never invited him and he has never invited me to dinner or lunch.
“But he is a person that I respect and I appreciate the work he has done so far. Chris is doing a very good job. We have done the same in the last two seasons. We are trying to improve the team and trying to play with more quality.”
As for the derby itself, Carvalhal added: “It will be an interesting game because both teams want to win.”