Sheffield United: Blades boss reveals why he is ready to gamble this season

Chris Wilder has given his players permission to take calculated risks. Pic Simon Bellis/Sportimage
Chris Wilder has given his players permission to take calculated risks. Pic Simon Bellis/Sportimage

Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder wants his team to take risks in a bid to stamp their authority on this season’s race for the Championship.

United enter Saturday’s game against Shrewsbury Town only a point behind second placed Bradford City and unbeaten in 12 League One games.

Despite acknowledging consistency will decide who wins automatic promotion - “You can’t be a spike side that’s always having ups and downs” - Wilder has no plans to start playing things safe.

“We want people to get on the ball and take chances,” he said. “We want them to take risks in the right areas, to try things and be positive like they are doing right now. That especially goes for the boys up front, the lads at the top of the pitch.”

United are the leading scorers away from home in English football after thumping Chesterfield 4-1 last weekend. They beat Shrewsbury 3-0 at Greenhous Meadow a month ago with a Daniel Lafferty effort sandwiched in between Billy Sharp’s brace.

Wilder, who has credited United’s supporters for their part in the club’s recent form, said: “If you ask the lads up front, they are prepared to be positive because they know they are not going to have 20,000 people on their backs at our place, or 3,000 away from home, if something goes wrong. That stems from the fact that everyone is prepared to work really hard, with a pride for the football club, to get a result.”

Billy Sharp congratulates Kieron Freeman during the 4-1 win over Chesterfield on Sunday

Billy Sharp congratulates Kieron Freeman during the 4-1 win over Chesterfield on Sunday