Chris Wilder: Former Sheffield United boss reflecting before 'deciding what's next'

Chris Wilder
Wilder led Sheffield United to a ninth-placed finish in the Premier League at the end of the 2019-20 season

Former Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder says he is "enjoying a period of reflection" before "deciding what's next".

Wilder left the Blades in March when they were bottom of the Premier League with 14 points from 28 games.

"I would like to wish everyone associated with the football club and the owners the very best in the future," he said in a statement.

"This football club will always hold a special place in my heart."

Wilder, a boyhood Blades fan, was a "ball boy and player in two spells" at Sheffield United before he took over as the Bramall Lane side's manager in May 2016.

He took them from League One to a ninth-placed finish in the Premier League at the end of the 2019-20 campaign.

This season, which has mostly been played without fans because of the coronavirus pandemic, proved more difficult, with his side failing to register a first league win until 12 January in their 18th game.

United are now led by caretaker manager Paul Heckingbottom and are still bottom, 18 points from safety with seven games of the campaign left.

Wilder said: "As proved this season, football is just not the same without fans and I stand by the comment that I've made on numerous occasions, the club have missed out more than most.

"Unitedites have the ability to turn losses into draws and draws into wins.

"I cannot stress enough how important the fans are and I've been humbled by the unequivocal support, even this season when things haven't gone so well."

He added: "I lived the dream of every Blades fan and I hope every one of them understands that I tried to represent them correctly in 'giving them their club back', a phrase that has been said to me quite a few times. And one I verbally believe we did."

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