Wilder brings long-time lieutenants to Sheffield United - and newcomer

Chris Wilder and Alan Knill: Long-time double act

Chris Wilder and Alan Knill: Long-time double act

CHRIS WILDER has brought long-time lieutenants Alan Knill and Matt Prestridge with him to Sheffield United, with Keith Andrews joining as a newcomer to his backroom staff.

Wilder today returned to Bramall Lane on a contract to the summer of 2025, replacing the sacked Paul Heckingbottom. The 56-year-old was previously manager of the Blades from 2016 to 2021, leading them from League One to a top-10 finish in the Premier League.

Knill has worked alongside him throughout his managerial career. He was originally a manager in his own right, at Rotherham, Bury (where Wilder was his number two), Scunthorpe and Torquay, but then became assistant to Wilder at Northampton Town, Sheffield United, Middlesbrough and Watford.

Prestridge, who has the unusual dual role of Head of Sport Science and First-Team Coach, has also been alongside Wilder throughout his managerial career, stretching back to Northampton Town.

Wilder has previously said: “I’ve known Alan a long time. The chemistry is good between us. He is somebody I can trust implicitly, which is really important to me. But I will also build new relationships with staff. I’ve done it before.

“And Matt Prestridge from a sports scientist background. We brought him in from Loughborough University and he’s worked in Academy football and then at Northampton and Sheffield United.”

Andrews has worked for the Republic of Ireland for more than three years. He joined as assistant with their Under-21s before being promoted to the senior side along with Stephen Kenny when he became manager.

However, he left last month when Ireland announced that Kenny’s contract was not being renewed.

Wilder said: “Keith Andrews is coming in, he's somebody I have known for quite a while. He has been working with the Republic of Ireland national team, he's an excellent coach and he will give us some fresh ideas as well.

“I thought that was important, that we freshen up that department as well."

Heckingbottom was sacked following Saturday’s 5-0 defeat at Burnley. Stuart McCall, who had been hisassistant throughout his two-year tenure, was also dismissed, as was defensive coach Mark Hudson, who had only joined the club in July.

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