EPL

Chris Wilder accepts imminent relegation as Sheffield United fall to Burnley

By Sports Desk April 20, 2024

Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder admitted his side’s Premier League season was over after a 4-1 home defeat to relegation rivals Burnley.

Burnley struck twice in the space of two minutes just before the interval through Jacob Bruun Larsen and Lorenz Assignon to snatch control after being second best for most of the first half.

The Blades threatened a comeback when Gus Hamer reduced the deficit, but further goals from Lyle Foster and substitute Johann Berg Gudmundsson maintained Burnley’s late bid for survival.

The Clarets climbed to within three points of 17th-placed Nottingham Forest, while a 23rd league defeat of the season has left the rock-bottom Blades 10 adrift of safety with five games to play.

Wilder said: “We all understand the situation. I’m not being defeatist, I’m being a realist. The season really, is gone.

“We have an obligation to our supporters and an obligation to the league to be as competitive as we possibly can, so we’ll look at that as well.

“We’ll get it right. We’ll have people who want to be here. People that want to run around and be involved when the going gets tough and want to be part of it when we’re going well.

“In the meantime, we have to do our best to make this as painless as possible because at the moment pain is going through every part of the football club.”

Burnley goalkeeper Arijanet Muric made a string of crucial saves in either half, while at the other end the visitors were clinical and Gudmundsson’s effort with 20 minutes left, less than a minute after stepping off the bench, killed the game.

Wilder added: “I won’t name names, but I think there were a few players out there who wanted to get out of there pretty quickly after the fourth went in, which you just can’t have.

“I think there were a few who wanted to get out of there pretty quickly and that can’t happen. It’s a powerful league and it’s been too powerful for us all season.”

Burnley registered just their second win of the year, but have now taken 10 points from their last seven matches and boss Vincent Kompany was delighted his players appear to be holding their nerves.

The Belgian said: “You get closer to the end (of the season) and this game was important for both teams, so I feel really happy with the result and the performance.

“The timing of their goal was really bad for us, it’s as bad as you can get. But you’re looking to see if the team is panicking, if there are any signs, but it didn’t feel like this.”

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