Ex-Sheffield United midfielder Danny Philliskirk has backed Chris Wilder for a job at “one of the big clubs.”
Philliskirk lined up against his former team this weekend for Fylde as they lost 2-1 to United at Bramall Lane in the FA Cup third round.
The 28-year-old may have only played eight times for the Blades after joining from the Chelsea youth ranks in 2011. But he has a strong connection with Wilder.
The current United manager signed him twice on loan when he was in charge of Oxford United. Philliskirk’s father, Tony – who is boss of the Burnley Under-18s – also played alongside Wilder for the Blades in the 1980s.
Why Wilder is ready for a top job
In an interview with the Telegraph, Philliskirk said of Wilder: “Chris was brilliant – very demanding, very organised, very hard-working.
“He’d expect you to respect the club’s values and philosophy and if you didn’t, you’d be told but, if you did, he’d be very encouraging.
“He’s honest. As a player, all you want is a bit of honesty from your manager but he’s a very good coach, too.
“The way he’s adapted this 3-5-2 formation with the centre-halves overlapping, I think the quality of his coaching does get overlooked. But I’m sure in the future he’ll be at one of the big clubs.”
For Blades fans they’ll be hoping that Philliskirk’s prediction doesn’t come true. Their side continues to impress this season in their first Premier League campaign in 12 years.
Ahead of this Friday’s match with West Ham United they are eighth in the table with 29 points from their opening 21 games. Their defensive record of 21 goals conceded is only bettered by top two Liverpool and Leicester City.
Unfortunately, the more Wilder succeeds the more likely it becomes other clubs will be keeping tabs on him. Yet for the moment, Blades supporters are enjoying the ride.