Wilder believes Blades need to be more ‘streetwise’ in Premier League

The 51-year-old accepts his team are still getting used to life in the top flight.

By Press Association Published: 19 August 2019 - 9.39am

Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder thinks his players will need to become more “streetwise” as they continue to adjust to Premier League football.

The Blades earned their first win since returning to the top flight against Crystal Palace on Sunday, with John Lundstram scoring in the 1-0 victory.

During the game Wilder’s team – and the majority of the 30,197 crowd inside Bramall Lane – became increasingly frustrated by the amount of free-kicks awarded against them.

Ahead of next weekend’s home game against Leicester, Wilder acknowledged that United need to brush up on some of the tricks of the trade.

“Maybe we’ve got to become a little bit more streetwise in our play,” said Wilder

“It’s a contact sport and that is part and parcel of what we do, but maybe at times we’ve got to be a little bit cuter ourselves. But that’s something we’ll get to grips with as we go along.”

Sunday’s win built on their opening-day draw at Bournemouth and Wilder hopes getting that first three points on the board will help them to settle in the Premier League.

“We spoke about it in the dressing room before the game that at Bournemouth last week we sort of dipped our toe in a little bit and then only put together a passage of play just before half-time,” he said.

“It’s only natural that apprehension was there because there’s only Jags (Phil Jagielka) who has played in the Premier League before. So we have to grow as a group and take confidence from this and I’m sure we will.”

Palace have begun with a goalless draw against Everton and defeat at Bramall Lane, underlining their recent reputation as slow starters in the Premier League.

The Eagles won only one of their first 12 matches during the 2017/18 season and won just twice in 13 games at the start of the last campaign.

“It looks like it could be that way again,” said Palace boss Roy Hodgson. “We play Manchester United next and that will be a tough one and we have Tottenham next month after the break so it looks a bit that way.

“We didn’t play well, but footballers are not robots or chess pieces and they don’t always have good games.

“We haven’t scored yet but we’ve only conceded one goal but, of course, the sooner we can put a win on the board the better it will be.”