Alan Biggs: The trio of former Sheffield United players managing just fine

Chris Wilder
Chris Wilder
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You’ll have read Chris Wilder and Rob Page in the same sentence before, probably even in this column.

More than a few times as they’ve been linked as rivals for Sheffield United managerial vacancies on several occasions.

The reason for bracketing their names again is that Page’s work underlies the stern challenge awaiting his former club on Saturday when Port Vale visit Wilder’s Blades.

The former United defender is no longer in charge at Port Vale, succeeded by Bruno Ribeiro (another former Blade, of course) after Page moved to Northampton last summer, but the Potteries club is still over-achieving on one of the lower budgets in League One.

Being fourth is testament to Page’s work before and it was ironic that he felt that, for once, they punched below their weight when losing at the Lane last season.

Just as Ribeiro has carried on his good work, so Page has continued Wilder’s mission at Northampton with the Cobblers in sixth place after a ten-man fightback for a draw at leaders Scunthorpe last weekend.

There are all sorts of tie-ups but the dominant thread here is that Wilder (the more experienced), Page and Ribeiro are three of what might be termed as the “coming men” of English football club management.