Sheffield Derby: ‘We might be third but we’re definitely not favourites’

Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder says his team are not clear cut favourites
Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder says his team are not clear cut favourites

Chris Wilder has denied Sheffield United will enter Friday’s Steel City derby as favourites, despite being 14 places above Sheffield Wednesday in the Championship table.

But the United manager, whose side will climb to first if they triumph at Bramall Lane, insists his players have the character to cope if people choose to label them as such.

Sheffield United are third in the table: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

Sheffield United are third in the table: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

"These are games where we really should be going in as underdogs," Wilder said. "The only way people will view us as favourites is the points we have collected.

"Underdogs or favourites? Everybody will have their own opinion on that. Sometimes you have to look a bit deeper."

Although Wednesday spent a large part of the summer under a transfer embargo, their owner Dejphon Chansiri has sanctioned a series of expensive purchases since taking control in 2015. Wilder, who operates on a much more modest budget, used United's recent game against Hull City to illustrate the division's financial disparities.

"When we played Hull City, they have got a tremendous amount of talent in that group and invested heavily over the last three or four years," Wilder, reflecting upon last month's 1-0 victory over United's Yorkshire rivals, said. "You come up against big talented squads who have spent a lot of money.”

Chris Wilder operates on a modest budget

Chris Wilder operates on a modest budget

United are third, a point behind leaders Leeds, after being beaten by another big-spending club, Nottingham Forest, last weekend.

"We have gone about it our own way,” Wilder added.

"If we are favourites, I don’t see any arrogance in us, or taking the foot of the gas. They are not allowed to and I don’t see it hindering us."