Sheffield United saw off Bristol City this afternoon as Paul Heckingbottom got his reign off to the perfect start at a snowy and cold Bramall Lane.
The new United boss made little in the way of big changes. Rhian Brewster kept his place up top, with Morgan Gibbs-White and David McGoldrick tasked with buzzing around the youngster.
From the off, there was a clear energy to United. Backed by a crowd eager to see a change in attitude and performance, the Blades players responded and were much like the United of old.
There were a number of fine individual performances. Oli Norwood played well, while Brewster got his goal and looked likely. The back three also looked solid once again. However, it was the performance of Morgan Gibbs-White that caught the eye of former United man, Kevin Gage.
Gibbs-White has been quite the signing. Since arriving on loan from Wolves, he’s been a shining light in a difficult season for the Blades.
And Kevin Gage, speaking on SUTV following the win over Bristol City, felt Gibbs-White was outstanding for Paul Heckingbottom today.
“I spoke about him at the start of the day and knew he was going to be key for us because he always its. But today, it was the best individual performance from a player in a Sheffield United shirt all season,” Gage said.
“He was everywhere. Everything went through him. He was coming short, flicking the ball past people, driving at the defence. He had everything. He’s also so enthusiastic. Chasing people down and sometimes being a bit too enthusiastic at times!
“We’re so lucky to have him. My one hope is we can keep hold of him now.”
Gibbs-White came close to scoring himself. His well struck shot was straight at Daniel Bentley, while he also dragged a late effort just wide.
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There is no doubt that Gibbs-White will thrive if this team plays with high energy and intensity like it did today. Of all the things Slavisa Jokanovic did, bringing the Wolves man in might end up being his best move.
Gibbs-White will take some shifting from this Blades XI. Worryingly, he’ll also take some replacing as well.
For now, Sheffield United just need to enjoy him and get the best out of their man. If anything else comes to fruition in the future, then that’s a huge bonus.