Wilder questions Kenny McLean’s role in VAR red card over-rule incident

PUBLISHED: 15:13 09 December 2019 | UPDATED: 15:17 09 December 2019

Chris Wilder labelled Sheffield United's Premier League trip to Norwich
 City a 'dangerous game' before plotting a 2-1 win Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Chris Wilder labelled Sheffield United's Premier League trip to Norwich City a 'dangerous game' before plotting a 2-1 win Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Paul Chesterton

Sheffield United chief Chris Wilder felt Kenny McLean’s reaction did not help Chris Basham in a controversial VAR red card episode during Norwich City’s 2-1 Premier League defeat at Carrow Road.

McLean was left hobbling following a full-blooded lunge from Basham that initially produced a red card from referee Simon Hooper before it was overturned by VAR officials - the first time a dismissal has been overturned using VAR in the Premier League this season.

Both Wilder and City rival Daniel Farke made their feelings known on the use of technology after the game, with the Blades' boss admitting it is the fans he feels sorry for.

"The referee made a decision. My player went in aggressively. I can't say if I am honest, and I have the best view in the house, if he has caught him or not," he said. "I am looking at maybe the reaction of the player.

"I need to get my head around that. We are a competitive side and that is not the first time we have had to deal with it, and making it hard for the referees.

Kenny McLean lies injured after Chris Basham's poor challenge which initially resulted in a red card before being changed to a yellow by VARKenny McLean lies injured after Chris Basham's poor challenge which initially resulted in a red card before being changed to a yellow by VAR

"It is something I have said in meetings. We have to be careful with the younger players coming through.

"But momentum is a huge thing and we had that when we were on top. But that is gone straight away. The top and bottom of it is regarding whatever view I have or pundits or players, who are all over the place with it, you have 27,000 singing the same song.

"They are the stakeholders, they are the ones that buy the shirts, buy the season tickets, buy the packages and travel to away games and support their team. They are not having it."

Wilder enjoyed his latest scrap with the Canaries.

Chris Basham's red card was over-turned by the VAR officials for a foul on Kenny McLean 
Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images LtdChris Basham's red card was over-turned by the VAR officials for a foul on Kenny McLean Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

"I thought it was a real dangerous game for us because of the familiarity between both teams and what we did in a terrific tussle last year to get into the Premier League," he said. "Both under-rated, both should have been nowhere near getting out automatically, with the quality and the amount of money other teams can spend.

"I think that went under the radar how well both our teams did. This was dangerous. I think they would have thought this was a game they could definitely win. Look at our team, apart from (Lys) Mousset the same. Them likewise so it had a bit of a Championship feel to it. They were better than us first half, we went backwards and square, weren't bright enough or aggressive enough.

"They deserved to lead but we came roaring back and it was more like Sheffield United. This was just as tough as Chelsea, Spurs, West Ham, Bournemouth. My boys know we need to be at full tilt.

"If we play like we did first half we get hurt in this division. If we play like we did second half everyone can see why we are unbeaten on the road and we have picked up points and are in eighth."

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