Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder has told his players ‘actions speak louder than words’ despite insisting they possess the hunger required to challenge for promotion next term.
Wilder issued the prediction after holding a series of meetings with the League One club’s staff following his appointment seven weeks ago.
United finished 11th in the table under Wilder’s predecessor Nigel Adkins, 21 points behind champions Wigan Athletic and only 10 places above the relegation zone.
Having taken an axe to the squad he inherited from the former Scunthorpe and Southampton chief, Wilder is confident those who survived his brutal cull are made of the right stuff but warned: “They want success. It’s easy to say all of that though. They need to prove it out on the pitch as well. But they are good people and in the right frame of mind.
“We don’t want to be languishing in this division and we don’t want to be languishing in mid-table. They don’t either and, talking to them, it’s good to know that focus and ambition is still there.”
United, who yesterday announced they will visit La Manga as part of their preparations for the forthcoming campaign, were last night continuing to identify potential targets after allowing the likes of Jay McEveley, Ryan Flynn and Harrison McGahey to leave earlier this summer. Another recent departure, Steelphalt Academy graduate Diego De Girolamo, has joined neighbours Chesterfield on trial.
Wilder began his overhaul by signing Mark Duffy and Chris Hussey from Birmingham City and Bury respectively. Dismissing concerns about a perceived lack of progress in the transfer market, he said: I’m comfortable with the situation because of the group we’ve already got. We’ve outlined our plans to them.
“It was good to talk to them and see what there views on things are and what their goals are. How they see themselves fitting in to what we are all about. Obviously, they were disappointed with how things went last year. There are some talented ones and maybe we need to get more out of them. That’s what we’ll be trying to do.”