Wilder wants Bruce to do him a favour and dent City’s promotion charge
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Chris Wilder is hoping Sheffield Wednesday rival Steve Bruce can do his Sheffield United a favour in the Championship promotion race, by denting Norwich City’s Premier League bid.
The Blades earned a hard fought point in Monday’s 0-0 Steel City derby that left them in third place, two points adrift of Leeds and four points behind Daniel Farke’s table topping Canaries.
But the resurgent Owls play both United’s direct rivals over the league run in next month, and Wilder is keen for his city neighbour Bruce to do the business.
“They have some good players and I’ve got a lot of respect for him,” said Wilder. “He’s galvanised those good players and hopefully - although I can’t believe I’m saying this - they’ll pick up some points now against the teams in and around us in the table, which might help our cause.
“It was a hugely difficult game, which it was always going to be, and we’ve not done enough to win - and the opposition haven’t, either. We knew it’d be a completely different game with Steve in charge.
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“I didn’t think either side deserved to win it. I didn’t think either side played with enough quality, it was a real bitty game.
“That referee is going to have lockjaw the amount he stuck his whistle in his mouth and rightly so. It’s a huge game for everybody concerned and we were never going to just roll in and win the game.”
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Bruce’s Owls spurned the best clear cut chance in the second half at Hillsborough when Sam Hutchinson fired at Dean Henderson from six yards out.
“We all enjoy the spectacle of a derby game and arguably they’re not great games are they?,” said Bruce. “They’re great to watch because of the intensity and this is why we enjoy them, the sheer intensity of it.
“Both teams went for it but in terms of quality there was a bit to be desired. These games are like cup finals. We saw it with Everton and Liverpool on Sunday. Both sides got wrapped up in it.
“There was a huge amount of noise out there, it was a pretty awful night with the weather, and I think what was missing was that bit of quality.”