Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder has revealed which opposition were “as hard as it gets” for his team this season.
Reading boss Mark Bowen says that Wilder told him his side were tough opponents during their recent FA Cup fifth round clash.
The Blades needed extra time to win 2-1 at the Madejski Stadium after a George Puscas penalty cancelled out David McGoldrick’s early opener.
Captain Billy Sharp eventually scored the winner to set up a quarter-final meeting with Arsenal. But Wilder was clearly impressed with what he saw from their Championship hosts.
“I spoke to Chris Wilder afterwards and he said to me – for my team, that’s as hard as it gets, playing against you guys,” Bowen told Berkshire Live.
“You were really at it and rightly or wrongly, he thought if we had been playing certain other Premier League clubs on the night we’d have won so that’s nice.
“It’s a nice compliment to have.”
Which other opposition have tested Sheffield United?
It really is testament to the Royals that Wilder thinks so highly of them. Especially because of how well United have adjusted to life back in the Premier League.
Before football in the UK was suspended until April 3 at the earliest due to the coronavirus outbreak, the South Yorkshire side were seventh in the table with 43 points.
They have a game in hand over most teams above them. If they win that they could rise as high as fifth and genuinely be in the hunt for European qualification.
They have only failed to get anything against five top flight teams so far in 2019/20. Top two Liverpool and Manchester City have beaten them home and away. Yet the 2-0 loss at Anfield was probably the only result where they were genuinely outclassed.
Added to that Leicester City, Southampton and Newcastle United were victorious at Bramall Lane. However, they still need to play the return fixtures against those sides.