Sheffield United: ‘It’s not the name on the back of the shirt that’s important, it’s the badge on the front’

Chris Wilder says team spirit will be key at Bolton Wanderers tonight: Simon Bellis/Sportimage
Chris Wilder says team spirit will be key at Bolton Wanderers tonight: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

His opposite number would love to talk about transfers after working under an embargo since taking charge at the Macron Stadium.

But as Sheffield United prepare to reacquaint themselves with Bolton Wanderers, who also gained promotion from League One last term, manager Chris Wilder insisted it is time to forget about the ins and outs of deadline day.

“The most important people are those who are here,” he said. “Not those who aren’t. The window has been and gone, it’s in the past. My only concern, my only focus, is the group we’ve got.”

Wilder’s efforts to sign Devante Cole and Jerome Sinclair dominated Bramall Lane’s news agenda earlier this month; particularly when it emerged the latter’s move from Watford broke down largely because of his agent’s demands. One player who did arrive in South Yorkshire, former Birmingham City striker Clayton Donaldson, scored twice on his debut against Sunderland last weekend but could miss this evening’s fixture with a hamstring complaint.

Phil Parkinson, the Wanderers manager, could be without Stephen Darby, DeriK Osede and David Wheater for United’s visit after all three were injured during Saturday’s defeat by Middlesbrough. Andy Taylor, however, could return.

“The lads we’ve got here now all have the right attitude,” Wilder said. “They know it’s not the name on the back of the shirt that’s important, it’s the one on the front. The name on that badge.

“That’s the spirit which has carried us to where we are and it’s the one we need to take into this game as well because it’s very important.”