Belfast Telegraph

Chris Wilder expected Son to be available as Sheffield United travel to Spurs

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Chris Wilder is targeting a result, rather than a day out, at Spurs’ new stadium (John Walton/PA)
Chris Wilder is targeting a result, rather than a day out, at Spurs’ new stadium (John Walton/PA)

By Rory Dollard, PA

Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder has no issues with facing Son Heung-min on Saturday after witnessing the Tottenham forward’s ill-fated foul on Andre Gomes first hand.

Son’s trip on the Everton player unintentionally resulted in a horrific ankle injury for the Portugal international and he was eventually handed a red card by referee Martin Atkinson.

An independent regulatory commission upheld Spurs’ appeal against the dismissal and Son, who scored twice against Red Star Belgrade on Wednesday, will now be free to face the Blades.

Wilder was in attendance at Goodison Park as the grisly incident unfolded and always felt the ban would be rescinded.

“Yes, I would have (expected so),” he said.

“We went to watch Tottenham and we were right in front of it. Straight away you knew the severity of the injury. I imagine all managers and fellow players will be wishing Andre a really speedy recovery but it’s just one of those unfortunate situations.

“From our point of view he (Son) is obviously a quality player but he seems a right down to earth lad as well. But we’ll be up not just against him but some other very high-quality players on Saturday afternoon.”

Wilder’s side have vastly over-delivered on expectations in their first season back in the top flight, sitting sixth, while Tottenham lie a disappointing 11th place.

A home win for Mauricio Pochettino’s side would still draw the teams level on 16 points and Wilder is maintaining perspective on the size of the challenge ahead.

“I’m delighted with the points total but I’ve been in this game long enough to know that from where we are to just above the relegation places is only about three points,” he said.

“We’ve had a great start in terms of performances and points but I’m not getting carried away in that changing room.”

United’s previous away game was at West Ham’s London Stadium, where they salvaged a 1-1 draw, and the club will be ticking off another new venue when they line up at Tottenham’s state-of-the-art ground.

And while there is a bristling excitement about the stage they find themselves on, the manager is looking to collect points not memories.

“Visiting this stadium, as a Premier League team, is probably on a lot of our supporters’ bucket list,” he said.

“I took a poor decision after the West Ham game. Rather than take the M11, which is the quick way home, I said ‘let’s go another way’ and take a look at it. I got stuff in traffic but saw it for quite a long time, this sort of spaceship on the left-hand side, where we’d be playing in two weeks.

“But we’re not wanting to go there and look around the new ground. We’ll come to get a result.

“There’s no reason why we can’t play well and that will give us the potential to get that result.”

PA

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