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Boss Wilder hails Blades’ belief as comeback sinks Bournemouth

Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder was proud of the character his team showed in coming from behind to beat Bournemouth.

The visitors led through Callum Wilson’s early strike, but goals from captain Billy Sharp and substitute John Lundstram turned the match on its head.

The win moved the Blades up to fifth in the Premier League table and to within two points of Chelsea, who occupy the final Champions League spot.

Wilder remains on course to guide the club to their best ever finish in the top flight – currently it is sixth in 1975 – and he said: “It was a great 70-minute performance, I wasn’t impressed by the first 20, they dictated the pace of the game and went in front and deservedly so.

“But our reaction was good. My players showed the character they possess, they didn’t feel sorry for themselves and created pressure and momentum and the supporters drove us on and lifted the players.

“To turn a losing position into a winning one shows what my group of players are about. We found a way to win. It was a great comeback. The belief the boys have is amazing.”

Wilder gave a special mention to Sharp. The Blades skipper, who celebrated his 34th birthday on Wednesday, has not played as much as he would have liked this season and has had to settle for a substitute’s role.

He scored his first goal on Sunday since netting against Bournemouth on the opening day of the campaign, and his manager said: “Billy Sharp has not had a lot of game-time. He has had to be patient but he’s a fantastic leader in the dressing room.

“I’m delighted for Billy and I’m delighted for the team because we had to work hard against a talented side. He was unlucky to come off but we thought Lys (Mousset) would cause them some problems.”

Wilder and his team will now fly to Dubai for warm-weather training as they take their winter break. They will resume their Premier League campaign and their challenge for European football against Brighton at Bramall Lane on February 22.

Asked about the Blades’ lofty position in the table, Wilder said: “I’ll let everyone else talk about it, I’m just on for the next three points.

“For a promoted side to get to this stage of the season with 39 points is an outstanding achievement, but I don’t want us to get comfortable. We are in a fabulous position, we are enjoying it and we want more.

“I’d like it if we had a game next week, but we’ll come back refreshed for the next part of the season.”

Defeat for Bournemouth after back-to-back league wins leaves them just two points above the relegation zone, having played a game more than some of their rivals.

Cherries boss Eddie Howe said: “It takes the polish off those results. There were a lot of good bits today but not enough to get a result and we needed it away from home.

“When we get the lead in these types of games we need to defend better. Their first bit of pressure and we conceded.

“I think the way we started the game, you wouldn’t think we are in the position we are in. There’s things to grow from and stuff to learn from but we’re running out of games to keep saying that.

“It’s a horrible feeling to take into the break but we have to come back after this two-week break and go again.”