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Soccer-Treat Liverpool game like a cup tie, says new Sheffield United boss Wilder


(Reuters) – New Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder wants his players to treat Wednesday’s Premier League match against Liverpool as if it were a cup tie after being announced as Paul Heckingbottom’s replacement on Tuesday.

United are bottom of the table with one win all season, which cost Heckingbottom his job, and Wilder knows he is up against it in his very first game against second-placed Liverpool.

“I’m under no illusions that it’s an incredible first game to be involved in but we have the lift of 33,000 at Bramall Lane under the lights,” Wilder said at a press conference.

“It’s not a great situation, everybody knows that. It is the best league in the world and we are playing Liverpool first game up, so thanks very much for the fixture list.

“I said to the players, ‘look at it this way, this is a third-round FA Cup tie, what would your approach be?’.

“You would be looking forward to it, you would want to go and get amongst it and you would want to prove a point and go and get a big result.”

Wilder took United from League One to the Premier League in his previous spell as manager at the club, and does not believe in the phrase “never go back”.

“There’s enough examples of other managers that have gone back and enjoyed their time,” Wilder said.

“I’m more enthusiastic and determined than I’ve ever been in my life. I think Sheffield United are getting me at my best. At times you have to feel the failure and feel the pain to make you better, and I certainly have.

“There’s a reason why (club owner) Prince Abdullah wants me to come back to the football club. Regardless of what other people will feel and think, he thinks I’m the best man to do the job and I’m delighted he thinks that.”

United dropped to the bottom of the table after their 5-0 defeat at Burnley on Saturday, but Wilder is determined to prove that their season is far from over.

“We are up against it, everybody in the world, every pundit that wants to make an opinion, every supporter, they all think we are done and dusted.

“It’s going to be a long, hard season, we understand that.

“There are going to be some difficult moments and we are going to have to suffer, but hopefully we can get a reaction out of the players and help them because, obviously, at the moment confidence is very low.”

(Reporting by Trevor Stynes; Editing by Toby Davis)

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