“I really mean that” – Chris Wilder’s behind-the-scenes claim on Liverpool title push

Liverpool have received support from an unlikely source in their Premier League title push, after Chris Wilder revealed his desire to see the trophy head to Anfield.

The Reds returned to the summit with just eight games remaining as they saw off a spirited Blades to run out 3-1 winners when the sides met on Thursday evening.

The visitors, meanwhile, were left 10 points adrift of safety having put in one of their better showings of the campaign.

Despite suffering disappointment at Anfield, Wilder shared his hope that Liverpool go on to lift the title in the coming weeks in one candid post-match moment.

Heading through the mixed zone in order to board the coach home, the 56-year-old wished a member of Anfield staff good luck for the remainder of the campaign.

And This Is Anfield overheard him say: “I hope you go on and win it, I really mean that.”

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Friday, February 4, 2022: Middlesbrough's manager Chris Wilder during the FA Cup 4th Round match between Manchester United FC and Middlesbrough FC at Old Trafford. The game ended 1-1 after extra-time. Middlesbrough won 8-7 on penalties. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Wilder’s comments perhaps come as a surprise given his previous clashes with Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp.

The Sheffield United boss labelled his opposite number “selfish” during a row over the introduction of five substitutes in the Premier League.

He then described him as a “world-class manager and a world-class politician, who cares about Liverpool” after lockdown tiers meant fans were allowed back into Anfield before Bramall Lane during the coronavirus pandemic.

However, Wilder revealed before this latest trip to Merseyside that his father is a Scouser and a Liverpool fan, perhaps explaining his support.

He said: “My dad and all his side of the family were supporters. My uncle [Colin] passed away a couple of years ago and he followed Liverpool home and away in the 1970s in Europe and everything – and my grandad was a supporter too.

“I spent a lot of summer holidays around my Liverpool grandparents and cousins as well.

“I’ve not really thought about it too much because I’m a Sheffield boy and Sheffield United‘s my team, but obviously that connection is there.

“I enjoyed my odd visits to Anfield in the Seventies, which obviously was the start of the golden period that was carried on and makes them what they are now.”