Chris Wilder last night insisted nothing, not even being reduced to 10 men, will stop Sheffield United trying to win games of football so long as he remains in charge at Bramall Lane.
And to underline his message, the United manager pointed to the tactics they adopted during last week’s game against Bristol City, despite John Fleck’s red card midway through the second-half.
Wilder’s team continued to chase the game following the midfielder’s dismissal, introducing both Clayton Donaldson and David Brooks before eventually losing the game in added time.
Although the 50-year-old conceded that bringing-on the likes of Jake Wright, Daniel Lafferty of Cameron Carter-Vickers might have enabled United to claim a point, he said: “We’re positive with our substitutions because we always want to win. Things aren’t going for us at the moment but we’ll keep going, keep doing the right things, to get ourselves back on track.”
United slipped to sixth in the table following the latest round of Championship fixtures, following Aden Flint’s late strike four days ago. Despite later acknowledging that adopting a more conservative approach might have prevented the defender from scoring, Wilder’s refusal to alter his tactics represents a calculated gamble on the part of United’s coaching staff. Not only do they suspect attacking opposition teams instead of trying to hit them on the break will deliver greater returns over the course of the season, Wilder, his assistant Alan Knill and head of sports science Matt Prestridge also believe it reflects the wishes of a fan base which complained about the tactics employed by previous regimes before their appointments 19 months ago.
“We went for it and we kept going for it,” Wilder, whose side returns to action at Preston North End this weekend, said. “Because that’s what we do, it’s what we are about.”