Chris Wilder says he is indebted to the likes Len Badger and Carl Bradshaw for their support in recent weeks, claiming the desire of former players to see his team do well proves Sheffield United is a “special” club.
Wilder made the admission after watching United climb back to the top of the League One table following last weekend’s victory over AFC Wimbledon; a result which ended the team’s three match winless streak.
“One of the beauties of this football club is that it’s so inclusive,” Wilder said. “There are some really important people, Badge, Carl Bradshaw and people like that, who have been brilliant. They’ve said ‘keep going, we’re playing well, we maybe just need to tighten up on certain areas.’ Things like that, from people who have had great careers here and are still in and around the football club, it means a lot. Especially when you’re going through a bit of a sticky patch.”
Badger made 457 league appearances for United between 1962 and 1976 while Bradshaw also captained the club before joining Norwich City over two decades ago.
United entered their meeting with Neal Ardley’s side having taken just a point from games against Walsall, Gillingham and Fleetwood Town but returned to form with a 4-0 victory over the visitors from Kingsmeadow.
Wilder, the United manager, said: “People I come across at this football club, that are in and around it, really want us to do well. It’s great for us as a staff to know they are onside.
“That’s what makes this place so special. Often, people always think their period was the best time and they like to be know as the best group. It does happen..”
“Okay, you often get seen as a better player when you’ve left and gone somewhere else,” Wilder, himself a former United player, added. “I’ve had a few people tell me that I wasn’t too bad here and I’m thinking ‘Hang on, this isn’t what I was getting told at the time.’ “Little words like that, from Badge when I walked into the ground, saying ‘I watched the Gillingham game, we did well, we weren’t bad,’ it’s great to have. From people like him, with a wealth of knowledge and experience.”