Sheffield United: ‘The tough times didn’t break us, they made us’ says manager Chris Wilder

Chris Wilder says his players proved their mettle even before the start of the new Championship season: Simon Bellis/Sportimage
Chris Wilder says his players proved their mettle even before the start of the new Championship season: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

Sheffield United’s never-say-die attitude can be traced back to their disappointing start last season, Chris Wilder has claimed.

United entered the international break third in the table - only three points behind leaders Cardiff City - after making an impressive start to the club’s first Championship campaign since 2011.

Despite romping to the League One title earlier this year, Wilder’s team failed to win any of their first five matches following his appointment as Nigel Adkins’ successor.

But, rather than being a period he wants to forget, United’s manager actually believes that miserable run was the making of his squad.

“That spirit, that determination to never give up, is something that’s been ingrained in us since the first four (league) games of last season,” Wilder said. “It would have been easy for the lads to start throwing the towel in, to begin thinking ‘here we go again’, but they didn’t. They dug in, dragged themselves out of it and that, I think, just goes to show what can happen when you show some b***s.”

United could slip to fourth before next Saturday’s meeting with Ipswich Town because Bristol City, who are a point and a place behind them in the rankings, host Burton Albion on Friday night.

“We’re a dangerous team,” Wilder added. “We get tagged, because we’ve got predominately English players, English coaches and an English manager, as a team that just runs about a lot. But we’ve got more to us than that. A lot more in fact.

“We’ve produced some excellent performances, played some really top-drawer football, against some excellent sides.”