John Beresford thinks Sheffield United’s biggest concern about his friend Chris Wilder is how they keep hold of him.
The former Newcastle United defender has known Wilder for many years and even played under him during his early managerial career at non-league Alfreton and Halifax Town.
Beresford spoke to Sky Sports for a piece about the Blades’ boss and his rise through the divisions. Wilder has earned promotion from the National League, League Two, League One and the Championship during a distinguished career to date.
Now in charge of his boyhood side in the Premier League, the 52-year-old is finally starting to earn national recognition. Yet despite Wilder being a Blades fan and former player, that does not guarantee he will remain in charge at Bramall Lane forever.
Why John Beresford thinks his friend could move on
Beresford is probably best known for his six years spent at Newcastle between 1992 and 1998. During that time they were promoted to the newly formed Premier League and twice finished as runners-up.
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For the majority of his spell at St James’ Park, Kevin Keegan was manager. And Beresford sees some similarities between Keegan and Wilder.
“The big thing about him (Wilder) is that camaraderie between the players,” he said. “I was lucky enough to play under Kevin Keegan and he was a brilliant man-manager. I think Chris is similar.
“If there is a difference between the two it’s the experience that Chris has now got to fall back on. Kevin didn’t have that when it started to go wrong for him and he could not adapt.”
Now Wilder is being recognised as one of the most exciting English coaches in the country, Beresford expects his friend to continue to progress. Whether that is with the Blades or not.
“People said they were favourites to go down but I didn’t see that at all,” Beresford continues.
“I think they will surprise a lot of teams this season. They have a coach who is always thinking about how he will handle different situations. He has served a long apprenticeship.
“The only problem Sheffield United are going to have in the future is keeping hold of him.”