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Wilder: 'I've got a really good relationship with Farke'

Wilder: 'I've got a really good relationship with Farke'
© Reuters
Sheffield United and Norwich have developed a keen rivalry in recent seasons.

Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder insists there is no bad blood between him and Norwich counterpart Daniel Farke.

Wilder and Farke have had some high-profile battles as the two clubs – promoted into the Premier League alongside each other last May – have developed a keen rivalry in recent seasons.

But Blades boss Wilder says Farke has texted him this term to congratulate him on Sheffield United's impressive start in the top flight.

"Daniel is fine, he's good," Wilder said ahead of the Blades' trip to Norwich on Sunday.

"We've had bits and pieces. Away from the lights, I've got a really good relationship with Dan.

"We're in contact. He's sent me a few texts on our start. And we spoke last season, when I sent him a text.

"It was an incredible fight between three clubs. But that relationship will get put to one side for 90 minutes.

"I actually quite enjoy it. All the stuff that surrounds our games with them.

"It's part and parcel of football, isn't it? The feelings and all that. But there's no problem between us, whatsoever."

The pair first clashed in September 2017 when Wilder accused Norwich of disrespect for arriving late for a Sky Bet Championship match at Bramall Lane, which the Canaries won 1-0.

Sheffield United won the reverse fixture 2-1 four months later and Wilder's extravagant post-match celebrations angered Norwich supporters.

Wilder says personal factors "that lots of people weren't aware of" led to his show of emotion.

"It (the rivalry) has developed because I lost my rag," said Wilder, casting his mind back over two years.

"I'd woken up in a bad mood because we didn't have any forwards on the morning of the game and, when their bus driver didn't get to the ground on time, it just escalated from there.

"So basically the whole thing was set up by me being a grumpy old git!

"I'd been sent off in the game as well, for booting a ball down the touchline and the referee thought I'd taken a load of water bottles out.

"I actually reckoned it was a pretty good pass and, when I got told to go, one of their coaches smiled at me and pointed upstairs."

Norwich beat Sheffield United to the Championship title by five points last season.

But it is the Blades who have settled in the top-flight quicker with 19 points from 15 games.

Wilder's side were seven games unbeaten before their controversial 2-0 home defeat to Newcastle on Thursday, while Norwich are in the relegation zone with 11 points.

"A lot of their key players have been out and they've got a lot of young players as well," Wilder said.

"You are all looking for that little bit of momentum.

"But there's still a lot of football to be played and they'll be looking at our game to be a kick-start and pull in a few clubs above them, us included, because of the nature of the league and how tight it is."

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