Sheffield United: Chris Wilder says relationship with Prince Abdullah ‘repaired a long time ago’

5 December 2023 0 By Total Football News
Chris Wilder: Sheffield United 'getting me at my best' in second spell as manager

Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder says his relationship with owner Prince Abdullah was "repaired a long time ago" after he replaced Paul Heckingbottom.

Wilder led the club from League One to ninth in the Premier League during his first spell, but left by mutual consent as they neared relegation in 2021.

They are bottom of the Premier League and four points from safety after losing 11 of their opening 14 games.

"I didn't have to think about it," said Wilder.

"People know what this club means to me, and the task now is to try and provide a boost to improve our current situation.

"My relationship with Prince Abdullah and the board was repaired a long time ago.

"After some time passed following my initial departure, we spoke, met in person and there was an amicable ending.

"There were certain things that I shouldn't have been involved in, but things over time have been repaired and there is a reason Prince Abdullah wants me to come back to the football club.

"He feels I am the best man to do the job and I am delighted he thinks that. The biggest positive for me is that the relationship between him and myself is good."

There had been issues between Wilder and Prince Abdullah behind the scenes, with the manager feeling not enough had been done to strengthen his squad.

Prince Abdullah told Talksport that Wilder was "the best guy on Planet Earth to take over the club right now".

Heckingbottom, appointed on a permanent basis in November 2021, guided the club back to the top flight by finishing second in the Championship last season.

But after Saturday's 5-0 defeat at fellow promoted side Burnley, and United's drop to the bottom of the table, the 46-year-old has become the first Premier League manager to be sacked this season.

Heckingbottom's scheduled news conference on Monday afternoon was cancelled amid morning reports that he had been sacked.

But the news had not been announced by the Blades as of Tuesday morning, with the finer details of his departure still being finalised.

It was not until Prince Abdullah appeared on Talksport that the change was confirmed, with an official statement following more than one hour later on the club's website.

The Football News Show: Did Paul Heckingbottom over achieve by winning promotion?

'Sheffield United are getting me at my best'

Since leaving Bramall Lane, Wilder has had spells at Championship sides Middlesbrough and Watford.

He has also done some media work and now believes he is a better manager than when he left the Blades in March 2021.

"I am going to give it my all, I am more enthusiastic and determined than I have ever been, Sheffield United are getting me at my best as well," he said.

"For me, this is a huge challenge personally, and I am rubbing my hands together to try and help the club get out of the position we are in. We are up against it, everyone in the world thinks we are done and dusted. We have always had that underdog tag, that mentality.

"I have come back to help the football club. I have been given a great opportunity to hopefully make a difference.

"It is going to be a long hard season, we know that, we are going to have some difficult moments and we are going to have to suffer. I am into the players and hopefully we can get a reaction."

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