Sheffield United relegated, on track for most goals conceded

Sheffield United have been relegated from the Premier League with three games remaining following their 5-1 defeat to Newcastle at St. James’ Park on Saturday.

Chris Wilder’s side have already broken the record for most goals conceded in a 38-game Premier League season with 97, and remain on track to surpass Swindon Town’s mark of 100 goals conceded in the 1994-95 season, when the division contained 22 teams.

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Sheffield United have already passed the ignominy of the lowest points tally in Premier League history — that record remains with Derby County’s 11 points in 2007-08 — but should they lose their remaining three fixtures, they will have accumulated the third-fewest points in a 38-game season.

Their season has been punctuated by heavy defeats both at Bramall Lane and on the road, notably the 8-0 home loss to Newcastle in September, the 5-0 reverse away at Burnley and the 6-0 defeat at home to Arsenal in March, where they had conceded five goals in the opening 40 minutes.

“We have not been good enough. The league has been too powerful for us right the way through the season,” Wilder said after the defeat to Newcastle.

“There’s plenty of games where we have been put to bed early, but today we should have been 3-0 up at halftime. I’m scratching my head that it was 1-1.

“Newcastle up their game and get a head of steam. Then our old mistakes start to fall in and goals go from two to three to four to five pretty quickly.

“There’s a reason why that happens. It’s an incredibly young side and there is a complete lack of leadership out there.”

Wilder was brought in for a second stint with the club in December after their owners fired Paul Heckingbottom, who had earned the club promotion from the Championship the season prior. When Wilder took charge, Sheffield United had lost 11 of their opening 14 fixtures and were already bottom of the league.

“It stings and it hurts. We have to own it,” Wilder told the BBC. “We have got so much work to do on the training ground. We have got to have a proper preseason.

“Sheffield United is a really good football club. I think everyone understands that, but it’s been a really poor season.”

Wilder said he had no intention of resigning and wanted to be part of the rebuild at Bramall Lane.

“I’ve still got another year left of my contract. I’d like to think that the supporters can trust me,” he said. “I’m enthusiastic and committed along with my coaching staff to get it right.

“We know exactly what direction we need to go, what the culture is going to look like, what preseason is going to look like.”

Sheffield United will see out the campaign with home games against Nottingham Forest and Tottenham Hotspur, either side of a trip to Everton‘s Goodison Park.

The task for Sheffield United next season is already off to a rough start. They will begin the Championship season on minus-2 points after they were sanctioned by the English Football League for defaulting on payments to other clubs.