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Lewis salutes Wilder's record at United
The U’s have not been out of Sky Bet League Two’s top four all season and head to AFC Wimbledon tomorrow just three points behind leaders Rochdale.
Wilder himself does not embrace statistics, but they show his side are the division’s joint top-scorers, while only two teams have a better defensive record. He reached a milestone this week, with the goalless draw against Exeter City the 250th game since taking charge almost five years ago.
Wilder preferred to focus on the players’ performance after the game, but on the landmark he said: “No matter what happens or what people say, I’m proud to manage this club.”
Over the period, which has turned the U’s from mid-table in the Conference to challenging for promotion in League Two, they have won or drawn 70 per cent of the games.
Lewis admitted even he was taken aback by the figure and believes Wilder should take more plaudits for the promising start.
He said: “The manager and staff never blow their own trumptes.
“When we win, we’re very low key about it. And when we lose, we’re also quite sensible with it.
“We have got a young squad, we haven’t got a big squad and that’s the way it is. We’re trying to get young players into the team.
“That’s fine, we’re happy with that, but we’ve been missing some really big players.
“The manager won’t say it himself, but I think he needs to take credit for keeping us where we are.
“The stat the other day was the number of his games here have been won or drawn.
“I have worked with him for a few years now and I know he’s a very high-class manager, but that stat should open everyone’s eyes – it’s a really good record.”
Lewis has spent all of Wilder’s spell at United as assistant manager, but says it is not just the players who need to be careful not to let their standards slip
. “He’s a huge perfectionist and it drives everybody on,” he said.
“The staff all enjoy working for him and everyone wants to do as well as they can.”
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