Sheffield United boss Wilder explains why derby pressure is on Sheffield Wednesday
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Sheffield United boss Wilder explains why derby pressure is on Sheffield Wednesday

Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder says the pressure is on Sheffield Wednesday ahead of the Steel City derby.

The two Sheffield rivals meet at Hillsborough this evening with 11 places and 17 points separating them in the Championship table.

With both Leeds United and Norwich City winning at the weekend, the Blades have dropped to third. Only three points against the Owls would see them move back into second place.

Victory for Wednesday, meanwhile, would get them within four points off the playoff places. For Wilder, he thinks the chance to hinder United’s promotion hopes is what is motivating their opponents.

“There’s bigger pressures on Sheffield Wednesday,” the Blades boss told the Sheffield Star. “They want to go and win a game of football for their supporters, and they want to stop us going up.

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“I don’t think any Sheffield football fan will have a different opinion on that.

“Being totally honest, I was not sat there watching them play in the play-off final (in 2016) wanting them to get into the Premier League. It’s vice-versa. That’s just part of being involved in Sheffield.”

What does Steve Bruce think?

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This is Bruce’s first Steel City derby as Owls chief after taking over at the club at the beginning of February. Since then they have won three and drawn three of his six games in charge.

There will be some added spice to the occasion because Bruce’s first managerial job was with the Blades. During his one and only season at the Bramall Lane helm in 1998/99, Wilder was among his playing squad.

“It can only happen to me! I’m a Newcastle fan and I managed Sunderland. I managed Birmingham and went to (Aston) Villa,” said Bruce.

“It was 20 years ago I managed United. I was player-manager to start with so it was an incredibly long time ago.

“When you have been doing it as long as me, the one thing you can guarantee is that you are going to get a bit of stick.

“I’m looking forward to whatever they call me on the Monday.”

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