July 6, 2020 / 3:35 PM / a month ago

Blades no longer in free fall, says Wilder

Soccer Football - Premier League - Burnley v Sheffield United - Turf Moor, Burnley, Britain - July 5, 2020 Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder after the match, as play resumes behind closed doors following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Clive Brunskill/Pool via REUTERS EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.

(Reuters) - Sheffield United have steadied the ship after a series of poor results following the season’s restart and will look to keep the momentum going in Wednesday’s Premier League clash at home to Wolverhampton Wanderers, manager Chris Wilder said on Monday.

United, who are eighth in the standings with 48 points from 33 games, picked up one point from their first three league games after the three-month COVID-19 break, including a comprehensive 3-0 defeat at Manchester United.

The Blades also crashed out of the FA Cup in the quarter-finals after a 2-1 defeat by visitors Arsenal before getting their league campaign back on track with a 3-1 victory against Tottenham Hotspur at Bramall Lane and a 1-1 draw at Burnley.

“Anything would have been an improvement from Old Trafford but we showed signs against Arsenal, took it on a step against Spurs and Burnley and took four points from two games,” Wilder told reporters in a virtual news conference.

“These were good steps and we’ll need to be at our best against Wolves.” he added of their opponents who are sixth in the table with 52 points, three behind Manchester United and five adrift of fourth-placed Chelsea.

Wilder hailed the impact of Wolves manager Nuno Espirito Santo, whose side were in the Championship (second-tier) when the Portuguese took charge in 2017 but are now competing for a Champions League berth.

“I have a lot of respect for him... his team play fabulous football,” he added. “Wolves have put themselves in a brilliant position. I saw a lot of them in the Championship, they were always a Premier League club in waiting.

“They still had to put in the performances on the pitch and they did. They added to the squad again and I’m not surprised that they’re up there again. A really powerful football club at the moment.”

Wilder confirmed John Lundstram and John Fleck will miss the Wolves clash but defender Jack O’Connell, who returned from injury at the weekend, is in line to start.

Reporting by Arvind Sriram in Bengaluru; Editing by Ken Ferris

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