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Chris Wilder has vowed to drag Sheffield United back into the Premier League at the first attempt after an “unacceptable” season was finally put out of its misery.

Saturday’s 5-1 defeat at Newcastle, in which the Blades led at St James’ Park and might have done so more handsomely before capitulating in depressingly familiar fashion, consigned them to a swift return to the Sky Bet Championship with three games to spare.

Wilder, who led the club from League One into the top flight in 2019 and to a ninth-placed finish, has signalled his determination to get them back there as quickly as possible.

He said: “It’s been a poor season, but it’s a really good football club and we’ll attract players and attract some decent loan players and we’ll reset and rebuild.

“We’ve revised and reflected and I believe I know what we need to do. I’ve personally done it before and I’m confident we can achieve what we want to achieve next season.”

Wilder witnessed the club’s season in microcosm at St James’ Park as Anel Ahmedhodzic headed his side into a fifth-minute lead before Ben Brereton Diaz failed to score after rounding goalkeeper Martin Dubravka, Mason Holgate headed against the woodwork and Andre Brooks blasted wide from the rebound.

Alexander Isak had levelled in the meantime and Newcastle were a different beast after the break, with Bruno Guimaraes, an Isak penalty, Ben Osborn’s own goal and a fifth from substitute Callum Wilson wrapping up the points.

Wilder, who pointed to a lack of leadership, experience and availability throughout the campaign, said: “The position we are in and the points tally we have is completely unacceptable. Some of the games, the white flag has gone up. That has been unacceptable.

“These are the things we will work on from a technical point of view. From a tactical point of view, we need to work on our deficiencies defensively, very very much so.

“We need players to be available because physically we’ve not had a healthy enough group to work on at the training ground and physically go the distance in games because yet again, you see at the end here, teams run over the top of us late on.

“That has happened too many times. The biggest thing is the mentality of the football club and what it means to be a Sheffield United player, which I believe I recognise. I know what that looks like.”

Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder (centre) looks dejected after the final whistle at St James' Park
Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder (centre) looks dejected after the final whistle at St James’ Park (Owen Humphreys/PA)

Wilder will set about his task with eyes wide open, knowing even promotion at the first attempt would simply spark a new survival scrap, with Burnley and Luton, who came up with the Blades, currently occupying the remaining relegation spots.

He said: “I’d be very surprised if a team comes out of the Championship and League One and with a couple of additions goes and finishes ninth and was challenging for European places.

“I want to come flying back at Sheffield United, but I do believe 17th place would be… All three teams that go up will be big favourites to go back down.”