Chris Wilder, the Sheffield United manager, has revealed his respect for Carlos Carvahal’s achievements ahead of Sunday’s showdown with Sheffield Wednesday.
And despite the fierce rivalry between their two clubs, Wilder, a lifelong United supporter, admitted to sharing a few light-hearted moments with the Portuguese.
“He just offered me a lift back when we were in Manchester one night. I thought that was quite good of him because I wouldn’t have done it in return,” Wilder said. “Joking aside, he’s a nice guy.
“I’ve seen him at a couple of functions. Getting to a play-off final two seasons ago, and playing some outstanding football that year, you’ve got to recognise that, even if we don’t want to admit it too much. And obviously last year getting through to the play offs, you’ve got to recognise their achievements.”
Wilder, who could name David Brooks in his starting eleven after handing the youngster his full league debut against Norwich City last weekend, added: “But I imagine there will be quite a lot of pressure on them this year. “That’s not me trying to spin things or take the pressure off us, it’s just a fact when you look at where they want to be, the statements they’ve made and everything that is connected with that.”
United slipped to sixth in the table when they were narrowly beaten by Norwich. Wednesday are ninth after drawing with Cardiff City.
“The Championship is a fantastic division to be involved in,” Wilder, who led United to promotion last season, said. “We’ve got a result at an iconic club like Sunderland, ground one out at Bolton and then lost, but in the right manner, to Norwich. We got into this with our heads high.”