Wilder - We Can Still Improve
Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder has said that the side can still improve despite taking bragging rights over Leeds United at the weekend.
Heading to Elland Road on Friday evening for the televised game, Billy Sharp and David Brooks gave us the two one victory on the day and Wilder was rightly delighted with the win, especially as it sent us into top spot in the Championship table, but he was still demanding improvement.
Speaking to the Official Site as he met with the media for his post game press conference, the gaffer explained.
'It is a win and we are made up to come here on a night like tonight. We are at the top of the division because we deserve it. Outside our football club, now, we have a target on our backs and we have to be better. I think we deserved the result, but we want the performance to be better.'
Wilder went on to say.
'The performance wasn't anything special, we made too many mistakes in our passing. We should have had more control of the game because that's the standards we have set ourselves. We've not hit as many misplaced passes in a game all season. When these big games come along we have to keep learning and improving.'
Wilder did have particular praise for Brooks and Leon Clarke.
'David finds a way to make an impact, we needed a sparkle at the top of the pitch. We are not hiding the fact that he's good player but he was due a goal. He caused them a different set of problems. The timing of his introduction was important and it raised our performance levels.'
'I think Leon is in the form of his life. He was outstanding, his performance deserved a goal. His all-round general play is excellent. Without being disrespectful to the skipper, Leon takes the responsibility of being the main man up there, he gives a focal point to play off.'
Mark Duffy was pretty much singing from the same hymnsheet as he spoke to the press.
'We have gone from strength to strength and we had to show character. It was a brilliant result, but not the performance we wanted, we didn't pass the ball as well as we wanted. We are happy with the win but we want to do better, we let them back into the game when we were on top. We've taken nine points from a possible nine since the international break, the way we play, we try and win every game.'
With the derby nature of the game given Yorkshire rivalry, he did however realise it was 'all about the three points.'
Reflecting on going top of the table, he added.
'We shouldn't fear anybody because the team we've assembled, I rate really highly. We've perhaps got some players who have underachieved previously though their careers, but nobody is now. Couttsy is a fantastic central midfielder and to think he has spent a lot of his career on the right-wing, the likes of Flecky, Jack and Clarkey, the list goes on and on. Billy will always score goals and the quality in the team is endless, everyone deserves a mention really.'
He also had praise for the management team as he knew their standards were driving the side on.
'The Gaffer, Knilly and all the backroom staff set the standards, they drive it from the top and make sure we're at it throughout the week, every week. We had an off day in training the other day and the Gaffer just stopped it and told us he wouldn't accept it. We know if you want to play you've got to perform every single day and we train exactly how we play.'
George Baldock knew it was different to beating Sheffield Wednesday previously in the season, but equally it was another massive statement' to our Championship opposition.
'It was a massive game on Friday and a terrific result in a fantastic atmosphere. It wasn't really comparable to the Wednesday game, but it was still an important one and one we were desperate to win. To go there under the lights and win when we weren't at our best was a massive statement and we've put down a marker to the rest of the division.'
He went on to add.
'We've perhaps exceeded early expectations but now, 14 games in I'm not too surprised with where we find ourselves and we've not been outplayed once. If I knew the secret to our success I would hang up the boots and become a manager myself, but the team cohesion, organisation and belief we have in each other goes a long way. We also have plenty of quality within our squad and we've proved that on a number of occasions.'