Friday, May 24, 2024

Wilder laments ´complete lack of leadership´ as Blades´ relegation confirmed

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 27 Apr 2024

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Chris Wilder feels his Sheffield United side’s “complete lack of leadership” has been a key factor in their relegation from the Premier League.

The Blades will be playing Championship football next term after a dismal one-season return to the Premier League in which they have won just three of their 35 league outings.

Sheffield United’s 25th league defeat of the season confirmed their relegation as they were hammered 5-1 away at Newcastle United on Saturday despite Anel Ahmedhodzic putting them in front at St James’ Park.

A drubbing ensued after Alexander Isak’s leveller, and the final whistle condemned the Blades to the second tier with three games to spare.

In Wilder’s view, the club needs to rectify a lack of on-field experience if the Blades are to bounce straight back up, embodied by the tough outing at St James’ Park.

Wilder told the BBC’s Match of the Day. “There are plenty of games where we have been put to bed early but today we should have been 3-0 up at half-time. I’m scratching my head that it was 1-1.

“Newcastle up their game and get a head of steam. Then our old mistakes start to fall in and goals go from two to three to four to five pretty quickly.

“There’s a reason why that happens. It’s an incredibly young side and there is a complete lack of leadership out there. I thought at times I was going to have a heart attack in terms of trying to get the messages on.”

Wilder acknowledged there could be tough times ahead for the club, though he hopes he retains the trust of the fans having been brought in for his second spell as Blades manager midway through the season following the sacking of Paul Heckingbottom.

“It’s going to be a tough summer for everybody,” Wilder continued. “We have not been good enough. The league has been too powerful for us right the way through the season.

“Sheffield United is a really good football club. I think everyone understands that but it’s been a really poor season.

“I’ve still got another year left of my contract. I’d like to think that the supporters can trust me. I’m enthusiastic and committed along with my coaching staff to get it right. We know exactly what direction we need to go, what the culture is going to look like, what pre-season is going to look like.”

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