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Sheffield United cannot afford to lose Chris Wilder after exit hints

Photo: Getty Images.

Sheffield United

Sheffield United cannot afford to lose Chris Wilder after exit hints

After a second half of the season collapse has cost Sheffield United any hope of a shot at back to back promotions, manager Chris Wilder has hinted that things could get even worse.

The popular coach suggested that his future at Bramall Lane is anything but certain, despite extending his contract last summer. Uncertainty from the club’s owners has drawn criticism from the manager after his side were beaten by Preston on Saturday.

“It’s 100 per cent critical it gets resolved, I can’t do my job properly unless there is a direction and decision from the owners,” Wilder said as he spoke to the Yorkshire Post.

“Any club that wants to be successful has to have harmony, direction and a plan. There isn’t a plan, there isn’t direction, and there isn’t harmony. That’s a fact.

“I won’t use that as an excuse for us possibly not delivering (on the pitch). This is a brilliant club which is close to my heart, and I want it to move forward in our own way.

“I want to lead it, but I need a bit of help. I am the only voice that comes out of the football club. There’s a lot of things which need to happen, soon, quick.

“It’s not just me, and what my future holds, what is the direction and message to the good players that we’ve got. Are we moving forward? They need to see things happening.

“I really shouldn’t be talking about any of this, and if people don’t like it, they have to deal with it. This is my city, my football club. I have worked extremely hard to get in this position, I am ambitious, and I believe in the ability of myself and the staff.

“I want to go forward with this football club. But I can’t do it all on my own. If it stays the same I don’t think anybody would be surprised if I didn’t question where my career is going.

“I want my career to go forward, progress my career, the careers of the staff and the players – and most importantly give the supporters some hope we can have a genuine football club with a strategy and plan to move forward.”

(Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)

The ex-Northampton boss has led the team back to where they belong after successive high profile managers failed to restore the Blades to the second tier, let alone competing at the top end of it, and his team have put the building blocks in place for further success.

An experienced coach in the lower leagues, Wilder has been linked to a number of jobs over the past year with West Brom becoming the latest side to have him amongst the favourites to take up the reigns, according to OddsChecker.

Wilder’s tactical style and strong playing squad has been fundamental to the success over the past two seasons and a new coach would mean that the club would have to start again from scratch, once again throwing the club into the realms of uncertainty that cost them their spot in the Championship to begin with.

If Sheffield United are serious about one day returning to the top flight in the near future, they must ensure that Wilder is the man to lead them there, and that means doing whatever it takes to persuade him that he is not alone in his leadership of the club.

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Sam is a football journalist focusing on English football at all levels and Spanish football. He also writes for Spain's biggest daily sports newspaper, MARCA, as well as The Boot Room. Find Sam on Twitter at @samleveridge.

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