Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder was full of praise for Bradford City in an interview with the Sheffield Star after the League One champions thumped their Yorkshire rivals 3-0.
The Blades blew the visitors away in the opening 45 minutes of Monday’s clash and headed into the interval with a three-goal advantage. The home team had nothing to play for after being crowned champions during the weekend, but Wilder still fielded a full-strength starting XI. The manager committed to his objective of chasing 100 league points, and must now accumulate six points from their remaining two games to achieve the goal. Bradford arrived needing a win to stay in the automatic promotion race, but second-spot now looks unlikely as the Bantams sit five points behind Bolton Wanderers.
Stuart McCall’s side, who were backed by over 2000 travelling fans, welcomed the champions to the pitch with guard of honour before kick-off. Chris Wilder was full of praise for Bradford, “I have a lot of respect for Bradford City with my connections there.
“Personally, I hope they join us in the Championship next season (through the play-offs). They are a class act.
“I got a couple of bottles of champagne from their chairman and (chief executive) James Mason. I am thankful of that.
“And Stuart giving us the guard of honour was nothing I didn’t expect.
“It is a class club and their supporters deserve to go up.
“I am sure they will have a right good go at it in the next three or four weeks.
“Full credit to them, they never gave it up,” Wilder said.
“I felt we showed a different side to us in the second half.
“We sat in and allowed them to come on. We have beaten an excellent side.”
The Sheffield-born boss was joined on social media with praise from captain Billy Sharp and a number of the Bramall Lane faithful:
— Unitedite (@unitedite) April 17, 2017
Bradford fans were quality today, as were the club for the guard of honour too!!
So so so hope they can get there with us
— David Huntington (@dhunts0102) April 17, 2017
— George Howson (@GeorgeyHowson95) April 17, 2017
Hope Bradford come up me. Only other Yorkshire team I like,a similar club to Utd. They've got proper fans, and one of my favourite away days
— M4NT2 ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)⚔ (@Manton1Alex) April 17, 2017
Many Bradford fans emulated the appreciation of the opposition on social media:
— Saltaire Bantam (@SimplyBcafc) April 17, 2017
— Jack Thompson (@jack_thompson11) April 17, 2017
Sheffield United, backed by a sold-out allocation of over 7000, will travel to MK Dons as the weekend. The Bantams host AFC Wimbledon and should secure their play-off spot.