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Wilder tempers expectations

Sheffield United 2 Plymouth Argyle 1

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Sheffield United's Chris Basham celebrates scoring his side's opener. Photo: Reuters

Sheffield United's Chris Basham celebrates scoring his side's opener. Photo: Reuters

Sheffield United's Chris Basham celebrates scoring his side's opener. Photo: Reuters

Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder kept things in perspective after overcoming Plymouth in the FA Cup to secure a third win in four matches.

Rock bottom of the Premier League after a historically bad start to the campaign, the Blades have belatedly shown flickers of life in the opening weeks of 2021.

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Plymouth Argyle's Jerome Opoku and Sheffield United's Billy Sharp battle for the ball. Photo: PA

Plymouth Argyle's Jerome Opoku and Sheffield United's Billy Sharp battle for the ball. Photo: PA

Plymouth Argyle's Jerome Opoku and Sheffield United's Billy Sharp battle for the ball. Photo: PA

 

They picked up just their third win of the season, with Chris Basham and Billy Sharp scoring either side of half-time against League One opposition. While the result marked a third victory in four, Wilder kept those successes in context, having also beaten Bristol Rovers, another third-tier team, and Newcastle, before losing their previous match at home to Tottenham.

"Job done," he said after setting up a home fifth-round clash against Bristol City. "You look at an attitude and professionalism, apart from five minutes when we gifted them the opportunity to put a bit of pressure on us, which they took (when Panutche Camara scored for Plymouth in the 75th minute).

"It was, generally, a decent performance. We should have stretched the lead from one to two a little bit earlier than we did. But job done, through to the next round and we crack on into, obviously, what is going to be a tough week for the players and the football club."

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Plymouth Argyle manager Ryan Lowe. Photo: PA

Plymouth Argyle manager Ryan Lowe. Photo: PA

Plymouth Argyle manager Ryan Lowe. Photo: PA

 

Asked if things felt like they were moving in the right direction ahead of facing Manchester United and Manchester City, Wilder said: "I think you've got to put it into perspective.

"Two of the teams that we beat are out of League One, so we got the job done and we needed those wins, and we needed a big week last week.

"And, generally, apart from the scoreline against Tottenham, we got it in the win (against Newcastle) and the performance in patches against Tottenham, and the Bristol Rovers performance and result.

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Sheffield United goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale makes a save. Photo: PA

Sheffield United goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale makes a save. Photo: PA

Sheffield United goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale makes a save. Photo: PA

 

"But you have to put it into perspective and look at our next two performances, but there's no downside to winning games of football and playing well."

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