Wilder delighted with ‘great’ Blades start

Sheffield United
Wilder

Chris Wilder feels Sheffield United have made a "great" start to life back in the Premier League and has praised the competitive spirit of his players.

Sheffield United certainly haven’t been overawed by life back in the top flight after a 12-year absence. They have only lost one of their opening four games, a run that includes a victory over Crystal Palace and an impressive draw at Chelsea before the international break.

Next up for the Blades is Saturday’s home clash with Southampton at Bramall Lane and Wilder feels his players have now proven they belong in the Premier League.

“I think it’s been a great start for us, I was looking for consistent performances and we’re being as competitive as we can,” Wilder told reporters.

“Individually – yeah we need to cut out some mistakes from a team point of view. But we’ve deserved every point we’ve got.”

United have emerged victorious from their last two meetings with Southampton although the most recent of those clashes came in the League Cup nearly five years ago, with the last Premier League encounter between the two sides way back in 1994.

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The Blades’ hopes of claiming a victory on Saturday will be helped if they have forward duo David McGoldrick and Callum Robinson available.

Both players picked up knocks on international duty with the Republic of Ireland, with McGoldrick, who scored his first goal for his country against Switzerland last week, suffering a shoulder injury, while Robinson is nursing a hamstring problem.

Wilder says both players will be assessed in the build-up to Saturday’s match and he can offer no guarantees whether either player will be fit enough to feature.

“A couple of the Irish boys came back early, but I believe Mick [McCarthy, Ireland boss] was going to change the team around on Tuesday anyway,” Wilder added.

“That gave Callum and Dave the chance to come back and have treatment with us. We’ll give them every chance of being fit for Saturday.”

Wilder’s men can consolidate their place in the top half of the standings with a victory on Saturday, with testing matches against Everton and current league leaders Liverpool over the coming weeks.

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