Will Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder be supporting Sheffield Wednesday?

Chris Wilder: Will be watching events at Elland Road.
Chris Wilder: Will be watching events at Elland Road.
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SHEFFIELD UNITED manager Chris Wilder says that he will follow developments from promotion rivals Leeds United’s home game with Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday evening - while side-stepping talk of potentially supporting the Blades’ city rivals on a one-off basis.

Wilder’s side, a point behind second-placed Leeds, entertain Millwall at Bramall Lane before attention switches to Elland Road in the tea-time kick-off where the Owls can do the Blades a huge favour by beating or drawing against Marcelo Bielsa’s side.

On whether he will be watching developments, Wilder said: “We have got an end-of-year ‘do’ and I suppose I might nip and out of it. I will not say we are not interested in that result because that is just nonsense.

“But it is not going to be the be-all and end-all and we both have big games on Saturday.”

On the concept of everyone connected with the Blades backing their arch-rivals for ninety minutes. Wilder added: “Listen, there is enough personal pride in this division.

“First and foremost, they (Wednesday) have a group of players who should be in a lot higher position over the past season-and-a-half with the ability they have got. They have got an experienced manager who has organised and sorted them out and it is no surprise for me in a professional capacity that they have gone on and won games of football.

“They are a tough proposition to play now. They are expected to go well and I would not be surprised if they got a result there. It is a tough game and Yorkshire derby.”

Wilder admits he is also conscious of the fact that his side’s home game with Millwall is not just a big game for the hosts, but also the Lions, who are fighting for their lives at the bottom end of the Championship.

He added: “There is pressure on both sets of players to achieve what they want to do.

“As much as getting out of the Championship is huge for us, staying in the division is huge with the media coverage and financial implications and from their players’ point of view, they will not want to drop into League One - no disrespect to that division.

“There will be a hell of a fight on Saturday.”

Central defender Jack O’Connell will be given as much time as possible to prove his fitness after two matches out with a calf strain.

Striker Gary Madine returns from a three-match suspension.