Chris Wilder urges Sheffield United to build on first Premier League victory

Sean Taylor, PA
·3-min read

Chris Wilder has urged his Sheffield United team to build on their first Premier League win of the season.

The Blades boss insists they must not “waste the opportunity” after Tuesday night’s 1-0 victory against Newcastle finally saw Wilder’s side break their duck.

Billy Sharp’s 73rd-minute penalty ended a dismal run of 15 defeats in 17 Premier League matches during the 2020-21 campaign and gave the Blades a first league win in 21 games since defeating Chelsea at Bramall Lane on July 11.

It came just three days after the FA Cup third-round success at Bristol Rovers – the club’s first win in any competition this season – and Wilder wants his players to take their new found form into Sunday’s home game against Tottenham.

“We used Saturday. It might not look a spectacular result at Bristol but it helped the players and they used that and now the key is to take it forward,” said Wilder.

“We can’t waste it. We have been after one of these results for a long, long time. We’ve lost so many games by a single goal but we have remained competitive.

“We have shown we are a competitive side and I think a lot of the teams we have played will vouch for that. We have done OK this season and teams may be scratching their heads as to why we were only on two points, but that’s the cold facts of it.

“We have added a vital three to that now and it is important we move on from here.”

Newcastle boss Steve Bruce faced questions about his future following the defeat at Bramall Lane, as fans took to social media calling for him to be sacked.

Bruce was criticised for playing a back five against the league’s bottom team, and the Magpies produced a performance full of negativity and devoid of ideas or imagination, with striker Callum Wilson often isolated and anonymous from the action.

After a solid start to the season, Newcastle have gone out of both cup competitions in the last month, during
which time they are without a win in six Premier League matches, losing four.

Bruce knows there must be improvement as he explained his tactics on Tuesday night: “Too defensive in the approach? Well we have played the same sort of way and I have changed the personnel at the top end of the pitch to try to give us something a little bit different because we haven’t scored enough or created enough.

“That was my thinking. Playing Ryan Fraser and Sean Longstaff as two false number 10s instead of Miguel Almiron and Big Joe (Joelinton).

“Because of the games we’ve had, I tried to pick a team with a certain freshness. I wanted to see if something different would work.

“I think we’ve – apart from the last month which we knew would be difficult with the run of fixtures we’ve had – given ourselves a decent start to the season. But it must be better than that tonight.”