Sheffield United: Why Blades stars daren’t mess with manager Chris Wilder

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Sheffield United midfielder Chris Basham thinks Chris Wilder’s policy of naming and shaming under-performing players will reap dividends this season.

Wilder warned he is ready to bruise dressing room egos after taking charge of the League One club in May.

But, after failing to reach the top-six last term, Basham told The Star the new manager’s brutally honest approach is exactly what United required.

“He is someone who is very aggressive,” Basham said. “He is not scared to tell anyone in the dressing room that they are not pulling their weight. It was something we needed. We play in front of big crowds and there is an expectation here.

“We need character at a club like this. The new manager is the perfect match for this club because he is a supporter. He won promotion last year and he brings that energy to our team.”

Wilder, who also represented United as a player, led Northampton Town to the League Two title before replacing Nigel Adkins at the helm. The 48-year-old oversees his first competitive fixture since returning to Bramall Lane when United visit Bolton Wanderers this afternoon and Basham added: “He brings honesty and he isn’t scared to tell you guys in the press if he doesn’t think someone is pulling their weight. He names names, which needs to happen more in football.

Chris Basham is a big fan of Chris Wilder's no-nonsense approach. Pic David Klein/Sportimage

Chris Basham is a big fan of Chris Wilder's no-nonsense approach. Pic David Klein/Sportimage

“He has rebuilt things with the fans, too, as we have had a lot of open days. They have been fun and enjoyable and the right thing to do, in my book.”

Despite releasing 10 and transfer listing another seven members of the squad which limped to a mid-table finish last season, Wilder showed his softer side by naming Basham among a group of senior professionals capable of “leading by example” between now and the end of the campaign.

“It was nice when the manager said good things about me,” Basham said. “It shows my work has not gone unnoticed. He also named a few names on the transfer list. Some were maybe harsh but the gaffer is not afraid to do things like that. He gives the plaudits as well. Hopefully, my name will go in the papers for the right reasons.”

Chris Wilder (left) and assistant manager Alan Knill demand a lot from Sheffield United's players

Chris Wilder (left) and assistant manager Alan Knill demand a lot from Sheffield United's players

Chris Basham says Sheffield United are a much more aggressive team under Chris Wilder and Alan Knill

Chris Basham says Sheffield United are a much more aggressive team under Chris Wilder and Alan Knill

But Chris Wilder also has a light-hearted side

But Chris Wilder also has a light-hearted side

Sheffield United face Bolton Wanderers at the Macron Stadium tomorrow

Sheffield United face Bolton Wanderers at the Macron Stadium tomorrow