It was another abysmal performance last weekend from Sheffield United, losing by yet another 5+ goals. That’s now the fourth time this season the Blades have conceded five or more without reply.
A season which has been plagued by a mixture of poor signings significant injuries and subpar preparation/coaching under previous manager Paul Heckingbottom. Nevertheless, Chris Wilder insists that there’s no room for hard luck tales from here on out until the season’s close.
He underlines the imperative of stringing together a series of positive outcomes in the near term. And they have a chance to do that against relegation rivals Luton Town in their backyard on Saturday.
Since his return to the club in December, Wilder asserts that he and his coaching team have made significant improvements, addressing various concerns while re-establishing a bond with the fans. Despite witnessing enhanced performances, he acknowledges that the ultimate focus remains on garnering points rather than accolades.
Wilder told SUTV: “We need to affect the results more. No hard luck stories. It has always been about a balance and the balance is about marrying up better performances which I believe we are producing. And it’s about marrying it up with three points or one point. We have to do that sooner than later.”
Focused on the summer rebuild
In the latest transfer window, Sheffield United brought in three new players to bolster the squad. Chris Wilder took steps to resolve the goalkeeping situation by securing Ivo Grbic on a long-term contract. With Wes Foderingham, Adam Davies, and Jordan Amissah all facing contract expirations in the summer, this move was crucial.
Additionally, Ben Brereton-Diaz and Mason Holgate, his other two acquisitions in the January transfer window, joined the team on short-term loan deals.
The manager recognises that regardless of this season’s outcome, a substantial rebuild of the team will be essential in the upcoming summer. While fully aware of the critical nature of making the right recruitment decisions, Wilder remains confident in his ability to achieve his objectives over the medium to long term.
“I’m confident that we can do the rebuild we need to do. We need to try and effect what’s happening now and of course that’s what the January window’s there for.
“The main window is in the summer, we’ve got a lot of boys out of contract. I’m super confident we can rebuild. I still think this is a fabulous place to come and play football.”
The advancements made within the Sheffield United academy since Wilder’s initial tenure have not gone unnoticed. The manager is thrilled about numerous prospects emerging from the academy whom he anticipates having at his disposal not only for this season but also in the future.
He stated on SUTV: “One of the things that has really impressed me is how the academy has really kicked on and accelerated. There’s some fabulous young players here. We’re close to [extending] a few more.”
The gaffer then proceeded to name the likes of Jili Buyabu, Femi Seriki, Daniel Jebbison, Will Osula, Oli Arblaster, Sydie Peck and Andre Brooks. He followed it up with, “there’s seven or eight really good young players. To have that young group coming through: progressing, impressing, wanting to play for me, wanting to play for this football club… it’s incredibly important.”