#PremierLeagueStories @SheffieldUnited – 5 January transfer signings for #ChrisWilder, Is Sheffield United dreaming of Champions League qualification ( and other stories )
Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder was delighted with their 1-0 win at Crystal Palace. Crystal Palace goalkeeper Vicente Guaita mishandled Oliver Norwood’s corner and dropped the ball into his own net just before the hour mark.
Chris Wilder said: “It’s a huge result today. We were up against some really good players but the team kept their discipline and shape. We were lucky with the goal, but I thought we were good value for the win. We’re delighted to add another three points to the number we have already. Crystal Palace have a habit of feeling their way into the game and coming on strongly in the second half, but they started very well. I felt we stuck in the game and managed to get a very valuable three points.”
Sheffield has been a surprise fixture in the top half of the table. The win left Chris Wilder’s team five points off the Champions League places and 12 clear of the relegation zone. Sheffield United was briefly reduced to 10 men with a red card for a messy tackle by Joel Ward but the decision was reduced to a yellow card after the referee viewed a video replay.
Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder has admitted that the right decision was made by referee Andrew Madley not to dismiss Crystal Palace defender Joel Ward.
Chris Wilder said “I think the referee was consistent in his approach. There were a few bookings for both sides. We are not malicious as a side, but we are competitive. If it had been a [second] yellow card [for Baldock], we would have been disappointed, but it is a physical sport. Just as Joel Ward’s, I didn’t think that was a red, I didn’t think it was a second yellow for George Baldock.”
Joel Ward was not the only Palace player to escape a red card in the game though, with Madley opting not to show a second yellow card to Sheffield United defender George Baldock after he fouled Wilfried Zaha in the first half.
Sheffield United have signed Dutch forward Richairo Zivkovic and Greece defender Panagiotis Retsos on loan.Zivkovic, 23, arrives on a six-month deal from Chinese club Changchun Yatai. Retsos, 21, will also remain until end of the season after arriving at Bramall Lane from Bundesliga club Bayer Leverkusen.
Chris Wilder said “People will recognise we do sometimes go left field with our signings, but we’ve worked very hard on this one, because we have had to. We know enough about him, we’ve kept tabs on Richairo Zivkovic for a while and tracked his progress. He is a Dutch international at ages under the senior level. He’ll be unpredictable to other teams, but we know what we’re getting and he wants to make the most of the opportunity. We’re learning all the time this season, but pace in the Premier League is key and Richairo is someone we think can kick us on. Panagiotis Retsos is young, talented and one that we’ve had our eye on for quite a while. He wants to prove himself in the Premier League and this initial loan spells is a perfect opportunity for him to have a look at us and us to have a good look at him.”
The Blades, eighth in the Premier League table, have strengthened their squad with five signings during the January window. Club record signing Sander Berge arrived on Thursday, with Jack Rodwell and Jack Robinson joining earlier in the month.