Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder insists his squad needs a “shake-up” and that some players “have to go” following a 22nd Premier League defeat of the season.
Goals from James Ward-Prowse and former Blade Che Adams sealed a 2-0 win for Southampton at Bramall Lane in a game where Wilder admitted his team looked “tired in mind and body” in the second half, as the club’s injury crisis continued to bite.
Wilder was without the injured Chris Basham, Jack O’Connell, John Egan, Jack Robinson, Jack Rodwell and Sander Berge on Saturday, while Phil Jagielka was suspended.
After earlier this week making public the falling-out behind the scenes over the direction of the club, insisting he “does not know” if he will be manager next season and that he will only remain if the owners “stick to the plan”, Wilder again stressed the importance of keeping the club’s best players following the Southampton defeat.
This time, though, he also added that he believes his underperforming squad needs an overhaul.
“It needs a bit of a shake-up in terms of a few bodies going out and a few bodies coming in,” said Wilder.
“We need to keep, as I have said, our best players because I do believe that when I have got Berge back, when I have got Basham back, when I have got Egan back and O’Connell back that plays a huge part.
“There’s a couple that need to go. They have to go at the end of the season. I’d like to shake it up quicker, but the rules and regs for that don’t allow me to.
“The hand that I have been given at the moment is a pretty tough one with some of the players that we have to go with.
“There’s so many things we need to address. I haven’t really got an answer for anybody. We have to regroup and go again. It’s a tough gig at the moment.”
Meanwhile, Saints boss Ralph Hasenhuttl believes Nathan Tella can be “a threat for every defending team” following his performance at Bramall Lane.
The 21-year-old was a constant nuisance to Blades defenders on what was only his second Premier League start, winning the penalty which allowed Ward-Prowse to open the scoring after a burst into the box resulted in Ethan Ampadu bringing him down.
Hasenhuttl said: “I was always convinced about this guy. He is for me at the moment, the most interesting player of our youth. Today he showed it.
“I know he can be a threat for every defending team because he’s quick, he’s going for every ball, he’s also calm on the ball sometimes – he can still be a little bit calmer in some moments.
“He’s never nervous, he’s not too arrogant. He has a good mixture of enjoying what he’s doing and staying calm on the pitch – this is good.
“But what I like the most is his effort against the ball because he’s always sprinting – he’s immediately giving pressure and this is very good.”