Chris Wilder has revealed when he tells the players who will be in his Sheffield United starting XI for the weekend.
The Blades host Bournemouth in the Premier League this afternoon, but those playing will have known about it since Thursday.
While the rest of us have to wait until an hour before kickoff for the information, Wilder likes to keep his squad well informed.
“They’ll know Thursday. I’m a big believer that they need to clear their head,” the United manager told the One Of Our Own podcast.
“The disappointed ones know as well.
“So it gives those boys a couple of days’ breather to get their head round it if they’re not playing. And it gives the boys a couple of days to get their head round it if they are playing.”
Why Wilder’s history at Sheffield United makes him name starting XI early
While it appears to make sense to reveal the starting XI early to the players – so they can practice as a team for the upcoming match – this is not always common practice at clubs.
In fact, Wilder himself experienced the other end of the spectrum when he was a player for the Blades. He was a right-back at Bramall Lane in the late 1980s and early 90s under legendary boss Dave Bassett.
United enjoyed great success under Bassett, winning back-to-back promotions to go from the third tier to the top flight. This was a feat Wilder would later repeat, although admittedly over three seasons rather than two.
“It’s happened to me plenty of times under Harry (Bassett). The times when he’s named the team at quarter to two and I thought I was playing and I wasn’t. You have to go outside and your family’s there and that’s a difficult one to deal with,” he continued.