‘It was always going to be an advantage to the stronger squads and the bigger clubs’: Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder says Premier League giants are benefiting from five substitutes rule and claims his side are most affected by empty stadiums

  • Chris Wilder’s Sheffield United lost to Manchester United and Arsenal last week
  • Wilder says only the bigger clubs are helped by being able to use five substitutes
  • All top-flight sides can use more replacements due to the COVID-19 lockdown

Chris Wilder says bigger clubs are benefiting from the allowance of five substitutes following the Premier League’s restart.

The Sheffield United boss also believes that his team, more than any other, are disadvantaged by playing behind closed doors.

The Blades have seen their Champions League hopes fade having taken one point from three matches since the restart, falling to ninth position ahead of tomorrow’s visit of Spurs.

Chris Wilder says the bigger Premier League clubs are helped by being able to use five subs

Chris Wilder says the bigger Premier League clubs are helped by being able to use five subs

They were beaten by Arsenal in Sunday’s FA Cup quarter-final when Dani Ceballos, one of four substitutes used by the Gunners, scored in injury-time.

And Wilder said: ‘I can’t believe that anything can be changed midway through the season, when the players are just at their fittest.

‘We produced one of our highest intensity games on Sunday, three days after being chased all over at Manchester United.

‘So from a fitness point of views it was always going to be an advantage to the stronger squads and the bigger clubs (to have more substitutes).’

Sheffield United have been beaten by both Manchester United (above) and Arsenal this week

Sheffield United have been beaten by both Manchester United (above) and Arsenal this week

Wilder has been searching for answers as to why his side’s form has slumped post lockdown, and he believes the absence of a crowd has affected his players.

‘Anyone with any knowledge of the game would tell you, with 30,000 United fans with a few beers inside them screaming for us, then of course it would be better for us,’ he said.

‘I was speaking to Steve Round (Arsenal coach) after the game and he said it was to their advantage.

Wilder revealed one of the Arsenal coaches admitted on Sunday that it benefits the Gunners

Wilder revealed one of the Arsenal coaches admitted on Sunday that it benefits the Gunners

‘I don’t think there’s a connection bigger between the players and the supporters than here, at any other club.’

But of the individual mistakes that have been a characteristic of recent matches, Wilder said: ‘We’re shooting ourselves in the foot at moment. We can’t give teams a head start and expect to catch them.

‘You’re playing against world-class players, not the Dog and Duck. You’re going to get punished.’

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