Chris Wilder has insisted any player not ready to sacrifice themselves for Sheffield United can take their “golf clubs” and leave Bramall Lane.
Wilder, whose employers were last night believed to be close to agreeing a deal for Bury’s Leon Clarke, made the claim after several senior players recently admitted a lack of ruthlessness had cost the club dear in its battle for promotion under Nigel Adkins last term.
United released 10 and transfer listed another seven members of the squad which limped to a mid-table finish before Wilder’s appointment earlier this summer and the former Northampton Town chief said: “Everyone has a clean slate, it’s all about the group. They aren’t happy being in this position and we need to come together to get out of it.
“All successful sides have that approach. They have to go through nine months of different challenges.
“If they don’t want to be part of the group well, there’s a set of golf clubs and a tennis racket, away you go.”
United have signed six new players, including Jack O’Connell and John Fleck, following Wilder’s ruthless close season cull. Dean Hammond agreed a severance package after being told he did not feature in the 48-year-old’s plans despite activating a clause entitling him to a 12 month contract while talks with Martyn Woolford, another Adkins’s signings, continued ahead of tonight’s friendly at home to Derby County.
Wilder added: “It’s about changing the culture and the attitude of everybody because, when you look through the squad, there’s undoubted ability here that’s underachieved. They’re good lads and they are working hard. We’re pleased with the effort their are showing and what they are putting in. They’re a good bunch. But if anyone wants to go a different way, then they won’t be a part of it. They can go.”