SHEFFIELD, England — Sheffield United remained without a win in the Premier League this season after losing 1-0 to West Ham on Sunday, leaving manager Chris Wilder defiantly fending off questions about his future.
Sebastien Haller, the striker filling in for the injured Michail Antonio, lashed a shot into the top corner from the edge of the area in the 56th minute after Pablo Fornals’ effort had been blocked for what proved to be the winning goal.
Oli McBurnie struck a fierce shot against the crossbar as the hosts fought for an equalizer, but they fell to an eighth loss in nine matches and stayed in last place with just one point.
It is a huge contrast to the last campaign, when United challenged for a European qualification place in its first season back in the top flight before slipping away from contention in the final weeks.
“It’s great how you guys talk about people's careers so flippantly, I love all that," Wilder said when asked if he feared for his job. “I haven’t had the sack in 20 years — 911 games, if you hadn’t noticed — I don’t fear it.
“I need to be careful because I don’t want to come across as arrogant and look like I think I’m untouchable, but I don’t feel it should be asked given the journey that we have been on over the last four years. We were in (third-tier) League One when I arrived and now we are in the Premier League. It’s a ruthless, relentless division and a cut-throat division which doesn’t give you handouts. It’s not a time to go into our shells and I certainly won’t as manager of the football club."
West Ham climbed into the top half on 14 points with its fourth win of the season and has successfully negotiated a tricky set of early fixtures which has already seen the team play Arsenal, Wolverhampton, Leicester, Tottenham, Manchester City and Liverpool.
“I am not getting carried away, but there is a real self-belief at the moment," West Ham manager David Moyes said. "The football is getting better and better.
“I am not looking down, we are certainly looking up. We want to catch the teams higher up the league, that’s for sure. We want to keep this run going and keep this momentum going and build on it."
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