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Chris Wilder says Sheffield United retain belief amid winless start to season

Sheffield United have won one point from their opening seven Premier League games this season after a tough run of fixtures; Watch Chelsea vs Sheffield United on Saturday from 5pm on Sky Sports Premier League with kick-off at 5.30pm

Chris Wilder
Image: Chris Wilder impressed in charge of Sheffield United on their return to the Premier League last season

Chris Wilder admits Sheffield United are "hurting" following their winless start to the season but is adamant recent performances prove there is belief within the squad.

The Blades, who finished ninth on their return to the Premier League last season, have won just one point from their first seven matches, with only goal difference keeping them off the bottom of the table.

Three of their last four league games have finished in narrow defeats against Manchester City, Liverpool and Arsenal, with a trip to Chelsea on Saturday, live on Sky Sports, next up before the international break.

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"It's difficult not to look at league tables, I understand that, and I've tried not to look at it," said Wilder, whose side will drop to the bottom of the table should Burnley avoid defeat at Brighton on Friday.

"I've told the players not to look at it, as they are hurting and they want to win games of football, because it does last for a few months and there's quite a number of games left for us to change the position of the football club and that's what we believe we can do.

"We are always worried when we don't get the result we are after but the confidence levels are OK, they're not shot.

A deflated Oli McBurnie and Sander Berge after Sheffield United suffer a sixth defeat in seven
Image: Sheffield United were deflated after a 1-0 defeat to Manchester City last weekend - their sixth loss in seven

"If they are shot you're getting done five at Liverpool and five against Manchester City but anyone who saw those games will see that we could have got something from both of them and we have to go down to Chelsea with that same belief.

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"It's no good moaning about the opposition and the fixture list. I'm consistent with what I say, it's the reason we want to be in the division. If you're going to moan and groan about it, maybe don't win promotion and don't do well to stay in the division. This is where we all want to be.

"We fought against the odds to get into this division and to stay in this division and we will fight like hell to do that again. Nothing is just going to be given to us.

"We have to keep going and keep believing and I will keep going and keep believing right until the end, whenever that may be, who knows?

"We are all hurting because we feel we can do better than what we are doing and we can affect that going forward, blocking out the noise that comes with playing in the Premier League and concentrating on what we can affect."

Wilder will have an unchanged squad at Stamford Bridge, although there was some positive news this week on the injury front as midfielder John Fleck (back) and forward Lys Mousset (toe) resumed training.

Lys Mousset, who scored six goals for Sheffield United last season, is yet to feature this campaign due to a foot injury
Image: Lys Mousset, who scored six goals for Sheffield United last season, is yet to feature this campaign due to a foot injury

"We are really good in terms of health, it's just the usual bumps and bruises from last weekend," said Wilder.

"It was really good to see John Fleck and Lys Mousset back on the grass this week, that's a great boost for everybody, me included, to have those two nearing a return to involvement with the first team.

"It [Saturday's game] is too soon but obviously for the international break we will be working both of them right the way through that period and we will assess them off the back of that.

"John is in a better place than Lys just because of the manner of the injury. But, who knows, hopefully fingers crossed both of them will be in better condition than they are now come the back end of the international break and hopefully pushing for a return."

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