Dean Henderson has opened up on working under Chris Wilder at Sheffield United and the reaction to his high profile mistake against Liverpool.
Henderson spent the past two seasons on loan at Bramall Lane, helping the club to promotion from the Championship and then a ninth place finish in their first Premier League campaign in 12 years.
His impressive form during that time has earned the goalkeeper a new lucrative, long-term contract at Manchester United.
Henderson is now hoping to push David de Gea for the number one jersey. The 23-year-old has also been included in Gareth Southgate’s latest England squad for upcoming Nations League fixtures with Iceland and Denmark.
None of which would have been possible had Wilder not given him the opportunity.
“I had a fantastic two years with Chris,” Henderson told The Times.
“He was a great manager, rough and ready, just what I needed. He put me in line when I needed to be put into line but really strongly believed in me, which is something I loved about him.
“It made me feel 10ft tall. He was great for me. I can’t thank Chris enough for what he’s done for me.”
Henderson on THAT Liverpool gaffe
Henderson made the headlines for the wrong reasons early in 2019/20, allowing a Gini Wijnaldum shot to squirm under him as Liverpool won 1-0 at Bramall Lane.
Wilder called out the stopper publicly in his post-match interviews. It was not the first time the 52-year-old had done it, knowing that Henderson would respond well to criticism.
Wilder wasn’t wrong, with the England Under-21 international putting in a match-of-the-match display in the very next fixture against Watford.
“With the Liverpool one, I got ripped to shreds and people kept talking about it, even towards the end of the season,” Henderson continues. “I was thinking: ‘Surely that’s been put to bed?'”
Wilder has created a culture at the club where players need to be tough mentally. It’s worked, with two promotions and a top ten finish in the top flight in the past four years.
And Henderson explains just what sort of environment the dressing room is at the Blades under Wilder.
“You have to stand up for yourself,” the ‘keeper says.
“I’m ready for any challenge thrown my way now. There were many times in the changing room after games it got heated between the boys, but it’s just because we have a passionate group of lads and everyone wanted to win.
“A lot of the boys say that: ‘Real men turn up to big events’. We’d say it when we went out just before games. We all turned up many times as well.”