Chris Wilder believes Sheffield United supporters have played a crucial role in transforming the team’s fortunes this season.
Speaking ahead of Saturday’s meeting with Shrewsbury Town, which could see his players stretch their unbeaten run to 13 League One games, Wilder explained how some ‘inspirational’ backing from the terraces has translated into positive results.
“I don’t see the supporters heaping pressure on us,” the United manager said. “Although there is an expectation there. I think they are inspiring us and recognise, in terms of what it is doing to the lads, how they are giving them the confidence to go and play. I have always maintained that gives the players the best opportunity to put in their best performances. There’s no fear factor in the football, which is a massive, massive boost to the players and myself.”
United enter their match against Paul Hurst’s side third in the table, a point behind second-placed Bradford City, with a game in hand. Sunday’s 4-1 victory over Chesterfield means they have now scored 26 goals in only seven outings. They managed only 27 in their final 24 fixtures under Wilder’s predecessor Nigel Adkins last term.
“You see it at certain clubs and it happened (here) last year, that there can be a fear factor involved,” Wilder said. “But when people are playing free, if they make a mistake, I think people know that it’s an honest mistake. That they are trying to do the right thing.”
“It is inspiring to me and the players,” Wilder added. “They are doing their bit for the supporters and around the city, if you speak to people, I believe that they are enjoying the team and not always watching the nice bits they produce. They recognise the hard graft they are putting in for each other too.”