EPL

Chris Wilder dismisses clash between Sheffield United pair in Wolves defeat

By Sports Desk February 25, 2024

Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder dismissed the clash between Blades team-mates Jack Robinson and Vini Souza in the defeat at Wolves.

The pair squared up, went head-to-head and engaged in a shoving match during Sunday’s 1-0 Premier League loss at Molineux.

Pablo Sarabia’s winner condemned the visitors to a 19th defeat in 26 games and left them eight points from safety at the bottom of the table.

But, despite their plight and players’ frustrations boiling over, Wilder insisted there were no issues.

“That happens at every club up and down the country, three or four times a year,” he said. “Of course you can’t condone it, it has to stay at a level, we have a responsibility to the young kids out there playing.

“That happens behind closed doors at every level, at Man City and the bottom of League Two.

“You don’t want to see it but it does. VAR spotted it and for me, you just move on pretty quickly. They were told about their responsibilities at half-time. We talked to the boys and they are fine and cool.

“We’re a team who is learning in the Premier League, learning on the job and our opponents have been building for quite a while.

“We were competitive. We haven’t got the result but my frustration and criticism of the team are about the big moments. We had enough territory and we have to find that quality they found.

“I believe we played well enough. If you play well you have to come away with something and that’s my frustration and criticism.”

Rhian Brewster and James McAtee tested Jose Sa but the Blades’ threat faded quickly and Sarabia won it after 30 minutes.

He met Rayan Ait-Nouri’s cross with a glancing header – having escaped Yasser Larouci – which found the top corner.

Pedro Neto fired over as Wolves looked for a second, which sparked the confrontation between Robinson and Souza, with VAR opting not to send either off for violent conduct.

The ill-disciplined Blades never recovered and, while there was plenty of second-half effort, they lacked the quality to punish Wolves.

Brewster’s half-chance at the far post, with his sliding effort forcing Sa into action, was the best they created.

Sarabia shot wide for Wolves, who rose to eighth to maintain their hopes of returning to Europe next season.

Boss Gary O’Neil said: “We struggled to find the correct solutions in the second half and a lot of that is on me. That second-half performance gets us nowhere near Europe.

“The lads have done incredibly well and maybe I’m being slightly hard on today, you have no divine right to win, but the second-half performance looks a long way from a team pushing to Europe.

“I’m really pleased with the win. Up to eighth but it’s probably the worst I’m going to feel for the next hour, being eighth, because I was really disappointed with the second half.

“We had to show grit, determination and dig in. I thought the lads were excellent in sticking together.”

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