‘I’m certainly not going to put my arm around him and rub his head’: Chris Wilder opts for tough love as he reveals no plans to console Sheffield United goalkeeper after howler
- Dean Henderson was at fault as Georginio Wijnaldum scored for Liverpool
- The midfielder’s strike proved to be the difference between the two sides
- Blades boss Chris Wilder has rued missed opportunities to take points
- Wilder said his team is in the league to compete, not win plaudits from onlookers
Dean Henderson might have known better than to expect sympathy from Sheffield United’s no-nonsense manager Chris Wilder after the costly howler against Liverpool.
Henderson, on loan from Manchester United, allowed Georginio Wijnaldum’s volley to slither from his grasp and through his legs into the net to give the Premier League leaders a 1-0 win at Bramall Lane.
It did not help to have Gareth Southgate in the crowd and the home supporters tried to lift the spirits of their England U21 ‘keeper when they stood to applaud and sing his name as he trudged down the tunnel at the end.
Dean Henderson was at fault during Liverpool’s win over Sheffield United at Bramall Lane
The 22-year-old failed to gather Georginio Wijnaldum’s strike as it slipped through his legs
Wilder, however, is not the type to worry about hurt feelings. ‘I’m not bothered how people feel,’ said the Blades boss. ‘This is a real tough sport. I’m certainly not going to put my arm around him and rub his head.
‘We set a high bar. It always amazes me when pundits talk about not criticising players in the press. This game has been beamed around the world. There’s no hiding place.
‘He has to get on with it. He’s gutted. He’s a good ‘keeper. He has to learn and move on from his mistakes. We’re here to get points. We’re not here for people to think we’re a good side. We’re here to compete.’
Wilder insisted that he isn’t worried about hurting the feelings of the Man United loanee
Henderson responded to his mistake by making a fine save to stop Mohamed Salah from extending the lead but Sheffield United were unable to find an equaliser. Substitute Leon Clarke missed their best chance late in the game.
‘We have had a glorious golden opportunity to put a marker down and show we are in this division to compete and pick up points,’ fumed Wilder.
‘When these unbelievable sides have slight off days we have to capitalise and with a little bit more quality in both boxes we could be talking about not just hosting the European champions but beating the European champions.’
The Sheffield United boss was left ruing missed opportunities despite a strong performance
Liverpool, meanwhile, are under investigation for featuring an ineligible player in the Carabao Cup third round against Milton Keynes Dons.
Pedro Chirivella came on as a substitute in the 2-0 but it has emerged Liverpool had not secured international clearance for the Spaniard who was on loan at Extremadura last season, even though they applied for it in July.
The EFL will look into the matter and have a full range of punishments at their disposal but Jurgen Klopp’s team are not expected to be expelled from the competition.
A fine is more likely in line with a similar offence committed by Sunderland in 2014.