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    Chris Wilder on form

    The Blades boss believed his skipper is back on top form having bagged a brace in the Friday night victory at Burton.

    "Billy was back to his best in the second-half against Hull and was disappointed not to have scored, but he got two tonight and was a real threat in the first-half.

    "I'm not bothered about him scoring a hat-trick, I'm bothered about winning and Brooksy was itching to get on the pitch and make an impression.

    "When we got the ball in good areas we opened them up at will and Leon's goal is an excellent finish after some very good play, at a place where teams will struggle."

    When asked if the league position was realistic, Wilder retorted: "I'm not daft I know it's only November and there are 29 games to go but a lot of teams would swap with us right now.

    "We're frontrunners, we enjoy being at the front leading the race, rather than chasing.

    "We've had the most wins in the division, but we're grounded and I know what my players will give me. We have an opportunity each time we step out onto the pitch."

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    UPDATE: Coutts Injury

    UPDATE: Sheffield United can confirm that Paul Coutts suffered a fractured tibia in Friday evening's victory over Burton Albion.

    The midfielder was stretchered off in the Sky Bet Championship encounter at the Pirelli Stadium.

    He will have an operation over the weekend but is likely to miss the remainder of the season.

    Paul Coutts were taken down by Burton Albions Marvin Sordell in and accidental challenge causing a bad break. Coutts is expected to be out for a few months.

    Coutts was on the edge of the box attempting a volley when he was caught in a horror tackle by Burton's Marvin Sordell.

     

    The Scot was administered oxygen as he was stretchered off the pitch with, what was later confirmed as, a broken leg.

    He was applauded by both sets of fans as he left the pitch, but it is another injury blow for United who already have several players out with long term injuries.

     

    Burton, fresh off the back of their victory over Millwall, are sitting at the opposite end of the table having lost nine league fixtures before this fixture, and certainly looked the weaker side.

    It took just ten minutes for Billy Sharp to be taken down in the box by a panicked Burton.

    The goal was the 31-year-old striker's seventh goal of the season.

    Sheffield's first-choice keeper Jamal Blackman was back in the mix following his back injury, but wasn't tested much by Burton.

     

    Matt Palmer did equalise for The Brewers at 31 minutes, but the lead was restored pretty quickly when Billy Sharp was afforded too much space in the box and found the back of the net three minutes later.

    Leon Clarke took full advantage when he headed the ball home in the 77th minute, with a close range diving header, ensuring the Blades left the game with the three points they needed.

    Sheffield United were firmly in control for the game and had several further opportunities to increase their lead.

     

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    Result: Burton (1) v (3) Sheffield United

    Burton, fresh off the back of their victory over Millwall, are sitting at the opposite end of the table having lost nine league fixtures before this fixture, and certainly looked the weaker side.

    It took just ten minutes for Billy Sharp to be taken down in the box by a panicked Burton.

    The goal was the 31-year-old striker's seventh goal of the season.

    Sheffield's first-choice keeper Jamal Blackman was back in the mix following his back injury, but wasn't tested much by Burton.

    Matt Palmer did equalise for The Brewers at 31 minutes, but the lead was restored pretty quickly when Billy Sharp was afforded too much space in the box and found the back of the net three minutes later.

    Leon Clarke took full advantage when he headed the ball home in the 77th minute, with a close range diving header, ensuring the Blades left the game with the three points they needed.

    Sheffield United were firmly in control for the game and had several further opportunities to increase their lead.


    Temporarily top of the Championship League

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    Chris Wilder respect for Burton and Clough

    Chris Wilder has warned everyone connected to the Blades not to expect an easy ride at the Pirelli Stadium on Friday evening.

    United travel to face Burton Albion knowing a victory over the Brewers will see the Blades reclaim top spot, but Wilder is wary of the threat posed by Nigel Clough's side.

    He remarked: "This is a game where people can easily get carried away and look at the league table and think it will be an easy night and three comfortable points.

    "But with all the sub plots flying round and Burton's fantastic achievements over the past years, especially in the last 12 months it won't be.

    "Nigel Clough should have been Championship Manager of the Year last season for keeping them in the division.

    "And obviously him being an ex-manager of Sheffield United adds more to the game. It will be a tough night and a tough game. We will have to be right at it if we're to get a positive result."

    And Wilder admiration and relationship with the manager in the opposing dugout on Friday goes right back to 2001.

    The United chief added: "When I was at Alfreton I used to ring Nigel up when he was in charge of Burton in the Northern Premier I think and he always tried to help me.

    "I got to know him very well and he is someone I've got a lot of respect for. He's always picked the phone up to me and that's something I remember, especially as I was a young manager starting out.

    "He is a different class as a person and has done very well rising up with Burton, managing Derby and also here at the Lane.

    "He had success here, taking the club from bottom of the table to narrowly missing the play-offs, then two cup semi-finals and a play-off semi-final and I'm guessing he will have been disappointed with how it finished.

    "But look what he's achieving at Burton, taking them from playing in the Derbyshire Senior Cup to competing and turning over big teams in the Championship."

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    O’connell to sign long term contract

    Jack O'Connell has signed a new four-and-a-half-year deal with the Blades.

    The popular 23-year-old is now contracted at Bramall Lane until the end of the 2021/22 campaign.

    The Liverpool-born defender, who joined the Blades from Brentford in the summer of 2016, became a cult hero with the United faithful during last season's record-breaking League One title winning campaign and has acquitted himself excellently back in the Championship.

    He has amassed 67 appearances and six goals in United's colours so far.

    Boss Chris Wilder is delighted to see the defender commit his future to the club, remarking: "Jack hasn't just impressed me, he has impressed everybody at the club with his performances and he is a very important player for us who has done fantastically well.

    "He came from Brentford's reserves and was terrific last season. He's adapted to the step up to the Championship and has been outstanding for this term."

    On his new deal, O'Connell added: "Once the Gaffer spoke about me signing a new deal, I agreed straight away, it was a no-brainer.

    "I only see myself improving here and continuing to progress my career. This is a big club, we have an excellent group of players who are all winners and a terrific staff who know how to get the best of us."

    O'Connell becomes the eighth player to sign a contract extension in recent months, emphasising United's desire to reward impressive performances.

    In July, skipper Billy Sharp, vice-captain Paul Coutts, Chris Basham and Kieron Freeman penned new terms following promotion and more recently John Fleck and young prospects David Brooks and Jake Eastwood have also signed long-term deals.