Chris Wilder admits to avoiding media coverage as Sheffield United struggle

Chris Wilder has revealed his embarrassment at Sheffield United’s Premier League plight has extended to avoiding media coverage of the struggling Blades.

The 1-0 home loss to Everton on Boxing Day left the Bramall Lane outfit winless after 15 top-flight encounters and rooted to the Premier League’s foot.

Boss Wilder’s side have become just the third club in top-flight history still without a win by Boxing Day, after Burnley in 1889-90 and Bolton in 1902-03.

Midfielder Ben Osborn revealed his shame at the Blades’ poor points return in the wake of that Everton defeat, and Wilder admitted sharing those feelings – revealing he has turned to BBC Radio 4 to avoid discussions about football.

Asked if he shared Osborn’s embarrassment, Wilder said: “Yeah I think we all are, we’re not enjoying it.

“People are chucking everything at it. I don’t think we are the worst team in the Premier League, but the points are what it’s there for.

“You have to win games as well as play OK, but of course it’s a feeling of that.

“You don’t want to put the TV on, you don’t want to listen to things.

“I’ve never listened to Radio 4 in my life, but they don’t do any football or sport, so I’m learning so many weird and wonderful things about life now, having been in this bubble of football for 35 years.

“So it does feel that way. But it won’t if we start winning games.

“Ben (Osborn) is an incredibly honest footballer, who yet again is another one that left everything out there last night.

“If the players are feeling it (embarrassment) I can understand it.

“But it doesn’t mean you hide away. You’ve got to stick your head up and puff out your chest.

“And I believe the support is definitely still with us.

“If there’s embarrassment, it’s certainly not about performances, and certainly not about disharmony in the group.

“But it is most certainly about two points from 15 games: that doesn’t leave you with a feeling of anything else.”

Wilder’s Blades will next travel to Burnley on Tuesday, before a trip to south London to take on Crystal Palace on January 2.

Forward Oliver Burke will be a doubt for the Turf Moor trip, owing to a back spasm, with Oli McBurnie in the wars and Lys Mousset still battling ankle trouble.

“Oli Burke had a back spasm and that’s the reason he had to come off at half-time (against Everton),” said Wilder.

“Oli McBurnie, he had a really heavy fall at Southampton that kept him out for a couple of weeks.

“He had an injection and was able to play but we saw last night that he had a bit of a car crash with their centre-half.

“So his commitment can never be doubted and he wanted to help the team.

“I think 80 per cent of footballers wouldn’t have made that decision to play, and he took a big whack but carried on.

“Lys Mousset had rolled his ankle and is still having a few issues.

“We’re desperately trying to get him on the pitch because we know what he can do, but to start a game for him is really difficult.

“We can’t condition him enough to get him games to get a rhythm.”

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