A Sheffield United training session was interrupted in the most unusual way after a dog stopped to relieve itself on a training cone.
Ahead of their Premier League match at the league leaders on Thursday evening, Chris Wilder’s men trained in Stanley Park in the shadows of Liverpool’s Anfield stadium.
The Blades have been lauded for their no-nonsense, workmanlike approach to football this season – the club posted a tweet saying “No airs and graces, just hard work”.
But they couldn’t possibly have guessed what was to happen next, as a dog ran up to the side training out on the grass.
Speeding across to where the team were training, the dog suddenly stopped, cocked its leg and started urinating upon a red cone.
Nevertheless, the team seemed in good spirits despite the incident. The whole squad can be heard howling with laughter as the dog finished its business and ran back to its owner.
The club’s Twitter account took the incident in good humour, posting a tweet saying “Just trying to do an activation session in peace #SUFC”.
Wilder’s side have defied the odds season and will need to do so again tonight if they are to get anything from Anfield.
“There’s a fantastic future ahead for the football club, we’ve put ourselves in a great position,” Wilder said.
“But I’m never one to sit back and admire and my staff isn’t and my players won’t.
“We’ve got some huge challenges in the new year and ones we are really looking forward to.”
The first of those is against Jurgen Klopp’s champions-elect, who were given a real scare by the Blades at Bramall Lane in September when Georginio Wijnaldum’s fumbled shot clinched them a narrow win.
Liverpool have since surged clear in the title race but no challenge is a lost cause as far as Wilder is concerned.
“Going to Anfield, iconic stadium, fabulous experience, everything that Liverpool bring to the English game,” he said.
“They are the most powerful, historic of clubs in our game and going so well.
“But we’d like to put a little bump in their road, as we tried to do at Manchester City.”