June 26, 2020 / 10:53 AM / 17 days ago

Blunted Blades hoping to find cutting edge against Arsenal, says Wilder

(Reuters) - Sheffield United were mentally and physically drained after back-to-back Premier League defeats and will need to dig deep to find their spark when they host Arsenal in the FA Cup quarter-final on Sunday, manager Chris Wilder said.

FILE PHOTO: Premier League - Sheffield United v Arsenal - Bramall Lane, Sheffield, Britain - October 21, 2019 Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder celebrates with his players after the match. REUTERS/Andrew Yates

United have failed to find the back of the net since the season’s restart and have picked up just one point in three games.

However, Wilder believes the Blades can take heart from their victory against Arsenal earlier in the season as they prepare for a gruelling battle against Mikel Arteta’s side.

“We have given the players time to clear their heads, and I think that was important,” Wilder, 52, told reporters in a virtual news conference on Friday.

“They looked quite tired physically and from a mentality point of view. We need a performance that gives us an opportunity of winning a game and hopefully we get that on Sunday. We had two positive results against Arsenal and we can gain confidence.

“I will look deep and try and get the answers. We have to be brave in our performance and attitude.”

After three successive away games, Wilder believes a return to Bramall Lane can provide his side with the lift they need to get back to winning ways despite the game being played in an empty stadium.

“We have altered the preparation because of the schedule but we are looking forward to playing at Bramall Lane,” the United manager added.

“It won’t be the same without the crowd but we have to get back to the mentality that has given us our best performances.”

Wilder confirmed defender Jack Robinson is in contention to return from injury, while striker Lys Mousset should also be fit to face Arteta’s side.

Reporting by Arvind Sriram in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Davis

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