Documentary drama surrounding Rodwell no concern of Blades boss Wilder

Sheffield United have signed Jack Rodwell until the end of the season.

The former Everton and Manchester City midfielder had been training with the Blades in recent weeks and has now earned a short-term deal at Bramall Lane.

Wilder, speaking ahead of Sunday’s FA Cup third-round tie with AFC Fylde, said there is an option to extend the deal.

“Jack has been with us for a couple of weeks or so now and he’s been excellent around the place,” Wilder said.

“He offers us versatility and experience in a number of key positions and adds further depth to the group which is important at this stage of the season.

“Hopefully we can kick-start his career, he’s certainly got the desire and, from a physical and attitude point of view, there are no issues.”

Wilder touched on the controversial 2018 fly-on-the-wall documentary at Rodwell’s former club Sunderland.

The 28-year-old was criticised for sitting tight on a big salary while in the treatment room or being forced to train with the kids after refusing to leave.

“There might be a club in the north-east who might chuckle over stuff about Jack Rodwell,” Wilder said.

“But there’s two parts to that story. There is a lot of nonsense that has been talked about Jack.

“Maybe the spotlight shouldn’t be shone on Jack, maybe it should be shone on a CEO at the time.

“I’m not a lover of fly-on-the wall documentaries, they’re always looking for a villain.

“From my point of view that’s history. All the boxes that I needed to tick, and Jack needed to tick, he has done.

“I’ve sat down with him for quite a long time and spoke about his career going forward, it aligns with the club’s goals.

“He plays a number of positions and hopefully we can get him going.”

Southport-born Rodwell, capped three times by England between 2011 and 2013, has been without a club since leaving Blackburn in the summer.

But with the paperwork having been completed in time to play in the FA Cup, Rodwell seems set to make his debut against non-league Fylde.

Wilder plans to make 11 changes from the side which lost 2-0 to Liverpool in the Premier League on Thursday.

“The boys that have started most of the games this season, I’ve given them a few days off to clear their heads and get right,” Wilder said.

“I expect us to get a result, I expect people to put in individual performances to stake a claim for their respective position.

“Same preparation will go into this game that goes into every game. I don’t enjoy losing, I really don’t.

“That loss in the FA Cup last season (to Barnet) was a real low point. They were the better team on the day and that was really disappointing.”

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Football Paradise Staff Reporter

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