Sheffield United: Manager is prepared to take a big top six gamble

Chris Wilder says his team have already proved an important point: Simon Bellis/Sportimage
Chris Wilder says his team have already proved an important point: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

Sheffield United must continue to take risks as they chase promotion to the Premier League, Chris Wilder has insisted, despite admitting it could leave them more vulnerable at the back.

United enter the final eight matches of the season only two points outside the Championship play-offs despite winning three of their last seven games.

Wilder acknowledged his decision to overload their attacking options during the closing stages of Saturday’s draw with Nottingham Forest had coincided with the visitors’ best spell of the match but said: “We’re in a risk versus reward situation now.

“We’ve got to weigh-up what we can potentially receive by taking a risk and what we might miss out on if we don’t.

“We went for it and we’ll continue going for it. I think that’s the right thing to do and the players here have bought in to that. That’s the attitude they’ve shown all the way through. It got us to where we are now and so I don’t see any reason to change now.”

“I think it suits us,” the United manager added. “Going for it, being positive and really trying to win games of football, is what suits this group.”

United return to action when they travel to Brentford on Good Friday. But with the likes of David Brooks, Lee Evans and Enda Stevens away on international duty, Wilder will not be able to begin finalising his preparations until next week.

“It’s an honour for these lads to be doing what they’re doing,” he said. “It shows they’re playing well and if they’re playing well then that’s good for us. Some people might prefer for their lads not to go away but how can it be a bad thing?”

The decision to recall Leon Clarke against Forest, rather than give the centre-forward more time to recover from a hamstring injury, proved Wilder will be as good as his word between now and the end of the campaign.

“We went for it last season and that got us to the League One title,” he said. “But we won’t be daft.”