Sheffield United: Chris Wilder defends his squad’s work schedule

Chris Wilder takes his team to the Pirelli Stadium next week

Chris Wilder says the decision to grant his players some time-off over the international break does not mean Sheffield United are taking Burton Albion lightly.

Wilder’s side returns to action when they visit the Pirelli Stadium next Friday, for a match which pits second versus 21st in the Championship table.

Burton Albion manager Nigel Clough

Although United will enter the fixture as favourites after beating Hull City 4-1 last weekend, their manager said: “Burton is the start of a big period for us, looking at the schedule. They done fantastically well and are in their second season in this division. We’ll give them 100 per cent respect when we go there.”

Albion, managed by Wilder’s predecessor Nigel Clough, had failed to win in eight outings before beating Millwall five days ago. But they have already drawn with United’s neighbours Sheffield Wednesday on home soil and overcame Fulham, who qualified for last season’s play-offs, earlier this term.

“We came back in on Tuesday,” Wilder said. “We’ll be working and then we’ll have the weekend off. It’s important to recharge our batteries and we’ve got David Brooks and Daniel Lafferty away with their countries. But the boys who remain with us will be working as hard as always.”

Clough, who spent nearly two years in charge of United before parting company with the club in 2015, believes his squad should take heart from their success in London following some “undeserved” defeats.

“Whether it was deserved, I’m not sure,” Clough, reflecting on events at The Den, said. “But we didn’t deserve to lose the last two at home.”

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