Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder is relishing the challenge of keeping his beloved Blades in the Premier League.

Wilder, a lifelong supporter of the club, guided United to a ninth-place finish last season on their return to the top flight but the current campaign has so far been one of struggle.

The Blades head into Sunday’s home game against West Ham bottom of the table with only one point from their first eight matches.

It is the joint-lowest points tally at this stage of a Premier League season, alongside Manchester City (1995-96), Southampton (1998-99), Sheffield Wednesday (1999-00) and Sunderland (2013-14).

Wilder, whose side last won back on July 11, said: “I have managed over 900 senior games and have come through that period without a dismissal on the CV and I certainly do not want one on from a personal point of view.

“We are up for the fight and I have been in a lot worse positions in my professional career and managed to come through. I am not saying it will be easy and we have a fight ahead of us.

“People will be having their opinions on us around Sheffield and nationally. In a perverse way, I quite enjoy times like this and it is in my nature to fight and in our nature as a football club to fight.

“There are certain things that have gone against us and it is a roller coaster of a football club.

“We have had some fantastic times over the last three or four years and have to take the downside on the chin and roll with the punches.”

Wilder could be boosted by the return of Lys Mousset and John Fleck against the Hammers. Striker Mousset and midfielder Fleck have both resumed full training and are in contention to play a part in the game on Sunday.

Mousset has yet to feature at all this campaign after suffering a tendon injury in a pre-season friendly while Fleck has been out with a back problem since the beginning of October.

There is doubt over the availability of Norway midfielder Sander Berge, who has been in quarantine after international team-mate Omar Elabdellaoui tested positive for Covid-19.

Wilder said: “We are waiting for instruction from Sander, as with a couple of other boys (international players). He is in that category with a question mark.”


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