Sheffield United: ‘We don’t do scapegoats at the Lane’

Chris Wilder is backing his defence to rediscover its form: Simon Bellis/Sportimage
Chris Wilder is backing his defence to rediscover its form: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

Chris Wilder has warned it would be a mistake to make scapegoats of Sheffield United’s defenders, despite acknowledging individuals errors have cost his team dear in recent weeks.

But, speaking ahead of Saturday’s meeting with AFC Wimbledon, the United manager admitted there will be consequences if the trend continues against Neal Ardley’s side.

Jake Wright is hoping for a recall to their starting eleven. Pic Simon Bellis/Sportimage

Jake Wright is hoping for a recall to their starting eleven. Pic Simon Bellis/Sportimage

“We’re getting punished when we make a mistake,” Wilder said. “So, obviously, we’ve got to cut those out. But I’m not going to single individuals out and nor should anybody else. It’s not just down to the lads at the back, it’s something we need to work on as a group.”

United’s rearguard has been breached eight times in its previous three outings - they conceded the same number of goals in 11 league fixtures before losing at Walsall last month - prompting calls for Jake Wright (pictured) to be restored to the starting eleven.

Although Wilder has refused to rule-out making changes this weekend, he revealed coaching staff are looking at the bigger picture as they attempt to arrest a run of three matches without a win.

“Performance-wise, we’ve been punished when other teams have had opportunities and we’ve not punished other teams,” Wilder, whose team are second in the League One table, said. “I’ve been asked does Jake Wright come back into the equation?

Chris Basham has spent much of the season playing at centre-half: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

Chris Basham has spent much of the season playing at centre-half: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

“I don’t look at it like it’s Jake, it’s Ethan (Ebanks-Landell), it’s (Chris) Basham. I look at the whole thing, how did the ball get into that position and plugging the gaps. Not just what happens on the ball but our shape and such like off it too. Everybody has a responsibility going forward, the same going back.”