Belfast Telegraph

Blades boss Wilder insists league table is irrelevant at this stage of season

Sheffield United climbed up to sixth following victory against Burnley.

Chris Wilder is not getting carried away (Danny Lawson/PA)
Chris Wilder is not getting carried away (Danny Lawson/PA)

By Sean Taylor, PA

Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder is not getting carried away by his side’s lofty position in the Premier League.

Wilder said this week that the Blades are still finding their feet in the top flight and they will improve, which bodes well for the remainder of the season based on their performance on Saturday.

United climbed up to sixth place in the table with an impressive 3-0 victory against Burnley at Bramall Lane, thanks to John Lundstram’s double and another goal from John Fleck.

Wilder was not concerned with where his team are in the standings, but he was pleased to see them record back-to-back home wins and extend their unbeaten run to four league matches.

“I’ve not looked at the league table and I won’t do, I’ll only assess the season at the death. It’s an accumulation of points for us. It always has been and it always will be,” said Wilder.

“I’m delighted that the run has continued, that’s the biggest thing for me. Points at this level are so difficult to achieve and you have to do so many things right. Not only to get three points, but just to get one point.

“I’m delighted with the whole game. I’m delighted with how we kept our shape and how good we were in both boxes, it’s been a good day for us.

“We will have difficult days to come and poor results in this division, I understand that because of the level that we are at. But our attitude has always been consistent so far this season and that gives you a good chance of getting results.”

Burnley boss Sean Dyche felt his side had strong claims for two penalties in the first half, one for a trip on Jay Rodriguez and another after the ball struck Jack O’Connell on the arm.

However, Dyche refused to use the decisions against his team as an excuse for their performance during the first 45 minutes.

“The first half was unacceptable, it’s as simple as that,” said Dyche. “Too many players were way off the mark.

“There were a couple of decisions that I felt went against that might have got us out of jail. And it would have been getting us out of jail, I want to make that clear.

“J-Rod got clipped. We’ve seen those given, although we don’t get many of them. We’ve been hearing a lot about “soft contacts” lately and he gets one today from behind and nothing is given. He doesn’t dive, he falls naturally, but doesn’t get it.

“Then there was the handball, which I think everyone would expect to get a penalty for. But I need to be clear, they would have got us out of jail because they were miles better than us in the first half.

“The first half was as poor a showing as we have had since early last season. But Sheffield United were excellent today and forced us into mistakes.

“Performances like that affect real change and it has given me food for thought for the next game.”

PA

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