Chris Wilder admits Sheffield United still face huge challenge despite ‘big win’

Sean Taylor, PA
·3-min read

Chris Wilder insists Sheffield United are not getting carried away after fighting back to beat West Brom and keep alive their hopes of pulling off the greatest of escapes in the Premier League.

The bottom two clashed at a wet Bramall Lane on Tuesday night in a game that Blades boss Wilder had admitted was a must-win for his team, while Baggies boss Sam Allardyce said it was a “must not lose”.

It was Wilder who finished the evening the happier man after goals from Jayden Bogle and captain Billy Sharp overturned the half-time lead given to the visitors by Matty Phillips’ strike.

Allardyce pointed to a superb save from Aaron Ramsdale at 1-1 to deny former Blade Callum Robinson as the pivotal moment of the match.

“I agree with Big Sam, it was a big moment from our point of view,” said Wilder, whose side are still 10 points from safety despite a third victory in five Premier League games.

“To produce that is brilliant for Aaron and it gave us a chance of winning the game. But I believe we deserved to win.

“It’s a big win but there is still a long way to go and we are not getting carried away at all, there is a huge challenge in front of us.

“But we are alive and fighting and that’s all we can do and we will carry that on against Chelsea at the weekend.”

Wilder added: “In the second half we were playing front-foot football and looked like we wanted to win the game and showed big ambition. The team were so much braver in the second half in terms of what they tried to do.”

Ethan Ampadu, left, congratulates goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale
Ethan Ampadu, left, congratulates goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale (Tim Keeton/PA)

Ramsdale’s save came shortly after Bogle’s equaliser and at a time when the Blades were on top and had their opponents under pressure.

Phillips’ cross was met by Robinson’s perfectly-timed run and he looked certain to score sliding in inside the six-yard box, only for the ball to hit Ramsdale.

Allardyce said: “The biggest moment in the game was the save by Aaron Ramsdale. We would’ve gone 2-1 up.

“Now I’m not saying we would’ve won the game, but we would not have lost it. That was the defining moment for me.”

For the second time in four days, West Brom threw away points from a winning position. The Baggies are now just a point in front of the bottom-of-the-table Blades and nine points from safety.

Sam Allardyce, left, shouts instructions at his team
Sam Allardyce, left, shouts instructions at his team (Dave Thompson/PA)

“It’s very damaging,” admitted Allardyce. “We should have had at least four points from two games but we have just one.

“We play football not to lose and we keep losing far too many. We were in front against Fulham at the weekend and draw and we were in front here and have lost the game.

“We need to close that gap between games played and the points we have, which is what we should have done against Fulham, and again we only have ourselves to blame.

“I keep saying don’t gift the opposition goals. Sam (Johnstone) hasn’t had a difficult save to make and the vast majority of our defending was excellent but we need to score three goals to win a game at the minute.”