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Sport

Blades boss Wilder urges players to keep going after West Ham defeat

Soccer Football - Premier League - Sheffield United v West Ham United - Bramall Lane, Sheffield, Britain - November 22, 2020 Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder with a ball on the pitch before the match Pool via REUTERS/Mike Egerton

(Reuters) - Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder has encouraged his players to keep going despite a fourth straight Premier League defeat that sees them stuck at the bottom of the table with one point after nine games.

Wilder’s side battled against a spirited West Ham but again their scoring touch deserted them as they went down 1-0 after a superb Sebastien Haller strike to lose for the eighth time this term, prompting the coach to call on his players to step up.

“We have to keep going. It’s a rollercoaster football club. At the moment things aren’t going our way but we must stick together and go to West Brom (next Saturday) and see if we can get a result there,” he told the BBC.

“I’ve seen enough (from my players) right the way through. I’m honest in what I’m looking at - there wasn’t much in the game, they (West Ham) found the finish and we haven’t. Nobody gets anything handed out to them, we just need to keep going.”

The 53-year-old Wilder dismissed suggestions that his side’s 3-5-2 formation was to blame for their current woes.

“It wasn’t the system - it was players’ confidence and decision-making at key times that decided the result. It’s going to be that way when you have picked up one point from nine games,” he explained.

The Blades have managed just four goals this term and, although it is still relatively early in the campaign, Wilder is aware his side are flirting with relegation after a poor start.

“It’s the Premier League. We have earned the right to be here and have to do some things pretty quickly to stay in it and protect our status as a Premier League club. (There is a) long way to go,” he added.

Reporting by Philip O’Connor; Editing by Ken Ferris

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