Sheffield United: Chris Wilder identifies his team’s most powerful weapon in the battle for play-off qualification

Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder says the support his team receives inspires the players: Robin Parker/Sportimage
Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder says the support his team receives inspires the players: Robin Parker/Sportimage

Manager Chris Wilder believes the relationship between his team and its supporters can swing the battle for Championship play-off qualification in Sheffield United’s favour.

Speaking ahead of Friday’s visit to Brentford, the 50-year-old explained how the backing United have enjoyed since winning the League One title last season has helped fuel their push for back to back promotions.

With United set to enjoy another huge following in London, Wilder said: “We’ve been granted the patience of the supporters. I never went along with that quieten the crowd stuff because the crowd stay with us right the way through. That’s because what this group of players had done in previous matches.

“This group of players has been outstanding to get the results they have. Especially last year, when we were probably favourites to win every game. Even this year, the attitude of the group has been there.”

United travel to Griffin Park knowing victory over Dean Smith’s side could see them climb back into the top six with only seven matches remaining ahead of next week’s meetings with Cardiff City and Barnsley.

Wilder added: “We want to play fearless football, not play with fear, and the support we get has enabled us to do that. Seriously, I don’t think people realise what a difference that makes, what a boost it gives the players to know they’ve got that kind of support behind them.

“We try and give the fans something to shout about by always giving it a real good go. I think people appreciate that. It’s important to have that honesty and that encouragement really helps.”