sport news Sheffield United are back in the Premier League... but what next for the Blades?

While Sheffield United will be tipped to last just one season back in the Premier League, you'd be advised not to write off their local hero manager Chris Wilder and players who continually defy expectations.

Huddersfield and Cardiff both made good fists of their first seasons in the Premier League and Burnley, whose squad has similarites with The Blades, are practically established in the top flight now.

Sheffield United are arguably a bigger club than any of those mentioned above with a history and tradition that dates back to winning the old First Division in 1898 and scoring the first goal of the Premier League era, Brian Deane against in 1992.

As Wilder goes for the Championship title on Saturday at Stoke City, Sportsmail assesses why Sheffield United are heading for the Premier League – and what they can expect next.

Sheffield United will be playing in the Premier League next season for the first time in 12 years

Sheffield United will be playing in the Premier League next season for the first time in 12 years

THE HISTORY

Sheffield is the Steel City, and a football hotbed. United, in their red-and-white stripes, like to see themselves as the working man's team compared to the more trendy Wednesday. It's a similar situation to the one on Merseyside between Everton and Liverpool.

They were one of the major forces in the early years of association football and four of their five major trophies were collected by 1915. The fifth, the FA Cup, was also won a long time ago – 1925.

Sheffield United have had some great players since then, none more so than Tony Currie who played more than 300 games in the 1960s and 70s and is now a director and has a stand named in his honour at Bramall Lane.

Tony Currie is a Blades legend having played over 300 games in the 1960s and 1970s

Tony Currie is a Blades legend having played over 300 games in the 1960s and 1970s

The midfielder has since had a stand named after him at Bramall Lane

The midfielder has since had a stand named after him at Bramall Lane

But great teams have been few and far between and they had slumped to the Fourth Division by the early 1980s. They have spent only three seasons in the Premier League, and were relegated in two of them, the exception being when it all started in 1992-93 when they finished 14th under Dave Bassett.

Neil Warnock's team were relegated in 2006-07 when rivals West Ham beat on the final day with a goal scored by Carlos Tevez, whose signing had broken the rules. It left a bitter taste in Sheffield United mouths and they've been away for a dozen years – until now.

Brian Deane (right) celebrates with Alan Cork after scoring the first ever Premier League goal

Brian Deane (right) celebrates with Alan Cork after scoring the first ever Premier League goal

THE MANAGER – CHRIS WILDER
Championship Premier League Championship League One League Two Scottish Premiership Scottish Div 1 Scottish Div 2 Scottish Div 3 Ligue 1 Serie A La Liga Bundesliga

A lifelong fan and former player who spent seven years with United in two separate spells, Wilder is straight-talking, hard-working and clearly has a gift. Even at Halifax when his players had to train on public parks and finally went into liquidation, those who came across him could see a special motivator.

After spells as Bury assistant and Oxford, Wilder's breakthrough came when he was appointed manager of Northampton, already aged 46 – older than Pep Guardiola when he went to Manchester City.

Wilder made up for lost time by winning two promotions at Northampton, taking them from the Conference to League One. Sheffield United, who had tried big names in charge and failed, brought him home in 2016 since then he's won another two promotions. His natural affinity for the club shone through after beating Ipswich 2-0 in their last game. 'I've got 25,000 mates up there,' he explained as he saluted the fans.

With a limited budget, he likes to find hungry players who work 100 per cent to improve their careers, rather than looking for a final pay day. His manta of getting his team 'at it' from the opening whistle is explained by defender George Baldock. 'He likes us to pretend we're a goal down.'

United like to attack and get in people's faces. If there is a Championship equivalent to Jurgen Klopp's Heavy Metal football, it's them.

Wilder won't suffer fools and if the ownership struggle at the club isn't sorted out and Blades find it hard to recruit this summer, you can expect some fireworks from the manager.

Lifelong Blades supporter Chris Wilder arrived in 2016 and has won two promotions

Lifelong Blades supporter Chris Wilder arrived in 2016 and has won two promotions

THE PLAYERS

Only four of United's players in the 14 that faced Ipswich have ever played in the Premier League – Chris Basham, Billy Sharp, Enda Stevens and Gary Madine. And all of them were only involved fleetingly.

Billy Sharp, their 33-year-old local talisman and top scorer this season who describes himself as 'that fat lad from Sheffield', made only two appearances in the top flight as a Southampton player.

But Wilder can find gems in the unlikeliest

read more from dailymail.....

Get the latest news delivered to your inbox

Follow us on social media networks

PREV sport news Manchester United's Alexis Sanchez backed by Andy Cole to show his real quality
NEXT Kelly set to announce new GWS deal, knocking back Victorian offers mogaznewsen