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Chris Wilder admits he's 'open' to changing trusted Sheffield United system

Chris Wilder says he’s “open” to changing the system that has served him so well as Sheffield United manager.

After losing three of his four matches in charge in his first season in 2016/17, Wilder switched to a wing-back formation.

It led to the League One title with 100 points that term and has largely stayed the same ever since.

With good reason too, with it having produced a further promotion and a ninth place finish in the Premier League.

There have been tweaks along the way, including dropping the number ten and switching to a midfield three after going up to the top flight.

But these have been minor, with probably the most famous tactic being the overlapping centre-backs – which has earned Wilder plenty of praise in recent years.

However, the tried and trusted system has not produced the same results this time around.

Heading into this evening’s home fixture with Manchester United, the Blades are bottom of the table with just one point.

They have made the worst start in Premier League history, losing 11 of their opening 12 games. They’ve scored the fewest goals in the division and conceded the fourth most.

Will Wilder change the Sheffield United system?

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In United’s latest match – a 3-0 defeat at Southampton on Sunday – Wilder switched to a back four in the second half.

This has been seen before under the 53-year-old, particularly when his side are chasing a goal.

But could he field something similar from the start against Man United tonight?

“Everyone has their ideas about how you should play,” Wilder told BBC Radio Sheffield. “The system has worked for us for a long, long time. We buy players to fit a system.

“Personally, I’ve coached every system in the book. This system suits us at the moment, but I am open and if it was the right thing to do, to change the system to give us the best opportunity of getting results.

“I’m open to it and obviously we talk and think about the game long into the night, to try and pick the system and put the players into round pegs [sic] that I feel that they produce the best performances from.”

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