Belfast Telegraph

Blades boss confident Spurs slump is a temporary thing

Chris Wilder says Saturday’s opponents cannot fail to improve their league form.

Chris Wilder is wary of Tottenham’s quality (Richard Sellers/PA)
Chris Wilder is wary of Tottenham’s quality (Richard Sellers/PA)

By Rory Dollard, PA

Chris Wilder believes Tottenham’s pedigree on and off the pitch means an upturn in form is inevitable, even if he hopes his Sheffield United side can put it off for one more game.

Spurs have slumped to 11th in the Premier League after four games without a win and on Saturday face a Blades side who sit five places higher after taking to the top flight in style.

Wilder’s side may hold a three-point advantage heading into the match, but Wilder is realistic about where the true balance of power probably lies when comparing his resources to those of Mauricio Pochettino.

“Sometimes things happen and people don’t start in the fashion they’d have wanted to, but scratch beneath the surface and what you’ve got is one of the world’s top managers coaching an unbelievable group of players,” he said.

“I’ve always had a lot of admiration for what Tottenham have done and the work they do on the training ground. Whatever system they play they have an identity but they mix it up – three centre-halves, diamond, all kinds of different systems.

“Whatever they do they have world class individuals and one result will get them up and running. They can’t fail with the amount of quality they’ve got.

“But it’s also another great afternoon for us to pit our wits against top-class individuals. We’ll be fearless in our approach.”

Wilder has already overseen a draw with Chelsea, victory at home to Arsenal and a thumping 3-0 scoreline against Burnley last time out and knows his players are beginning to catch the eye.

Rather than contemplate interest from others he is already turning to the business of locking key men into new deals and even adding to his group in the new year.

“There are a number of players we’re always looking at in terms of improving their contracts,” he said.

“There will be a ceiling. A couple of weeks ago there was a player who didn’t get into Arsenal’s 18 who earns more than my entire first-team squad, but we’ll work within that. The likes of Enda Stephens, John Lundstram, John Fleck, George Baldock, John Egan – and if I miss any of the other boys out, please don’t come knocking on my door!

“Looking at January is important too, because it’s really important as a club that we don’t stand still and we invest to make the group even better.”

PA

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