Sheffield United: ‘I wish I could bottle what brilliant Blades fans do for this team’

Chris Wilder has praised the backing his team have been given by fans this season

Chris Wilder has praised the backing his team have been given by fans this season

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Chris Wilder has paid tribute to Sheffield United supporters after the club’s ticket allocation for Saturday’s visit to Rochdale sold out.

Over 55,000 people have watched the League One leaders’ last two matches at Bramall Lane with a four thousand strong travelling army witnessing their 1-0 win over Peterborough earlier this month.

Wilder said: “If we could let the people who come to see us, and give us the backing they do, witness the effect it has on the players then we would do. I just wish they could come into the dressing room to see it and hear them talking about it as well.

“It’s not taken for granted whatsoever. But it does make a real difference and it’s important we recognise that.”

Midfielder Mark Duffy became the latest player to reference the connection between the terraces and United’s first team squad before last weekend’s game against Bolton Wanderers. Wilder, who took charge during the close season, acknowledges his comments will be interpreted by some as an attempt to curry favour among the South Yorkshire club’s following as it attempts to extend its seven point lead at the top of League One.

But reflecting upon his experiences at Sixsfields last term, where he steered Northampton Town to the League Two title, Wilder said: “People can say what they want but, there’s no getting away from it, every team that’s successful has that bond.

“We all know what this club means to people and, if we could bottle the backing we’ve had, then we would.”