Chris Wilder urges Sheffield United to show some top flight quality

The Sheffield United manager voices a rallying cry to his players to show quality worth of the EPL after its 1-0 defeat at home to Everton.

Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder. - AP

Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder voiced a rallying cry to his players to show quality worthy of the Premier League after Saturday’s 1-0 home defeat by Everton left it with only a forlorn hope of avoiding relegation.

The Blades are rooted to the bottom of the table with a mere two points from 15 games, 10 adrift of safety, making last term’s accomplishment of finishing ninth a distant memory.

“When we had the opportunity to open up and show a bit of quality we haven’t done that,” Wilder told BT Sport.

“That has been the story of the season - not showing the quality we showed last season. Regarding motivation I will pack it in if I have to motivate the players. There is no issue with the motivation, it is the quality. I can’t put that quality into them. I can’t play the game for them, I’m not chucking them under the bus but they need to show the quality. It is obviously a difficult period for everyone at this football club. In the Premier League you have to produce to get any sort of result.”

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Everton boss Carlo Ancelotti was happy with his team’s rugged defending and although they lacked spark up front, the Toffees ground out a win to move two places up to second.

Ancelotti also stressed he was enjoying his time at Goodison Park.

“We didn’t play so well with the ball but defensively we were strong and concentrated,” the Italian told the BBC.

“These three points are very important for us. We feel good because we have problems at this moment with a lot of players out but this team has a lot of spirit and this is good. I am really pleased to manage these players. I am really pleased because I found the right club, a nice club, a family club. I live in a nice area so after one year I can say I was lucky.”

Ancelotti happy with quality of squad

Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti was not getting carried away after his side's 1-0 win at Sheffield United put it second in the Premier League on Saturday, the Italian maintaining that grabbing a place in Europe is the height of its ambition.

Everton, which now sits two points behind leader Liverpool though having played a game more, recorded its ninth win in 15 league games despite missing a host of key players due to injury.

Ancelotti paid tribute to the battling qualities of his side, saying: "We're second for the spirit of this team, the motivation and ambition the players have for this season."

"We're not the top team but we are a solid team. This, in my opinion, is a really good quality for a team," he told the club's website.

While Everton are hot on the heels of the defending champions, Ancelotti said the goal for the season had not changed.

"The ambition and target is the same for the season: to reach a position in Europe."

Everton, which last won the English top flight in 1987, was missing several "important" players including James Rodriguez, Lucas Digne and Allan, but Ancelotti said there was no reason to add to the squad in the transfer window.

"With these players back we can still have a good season, we don't have to think about the January transfer window," Ancelotti added.

There is little time for Everton to savour its lofty position in the Premier League as it is straight back into action on Monday with the visit of Manchester City.

"We are there (second), we are pleased to be there but we don't have a lot of time to think about it," said Ancelotti.

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