Sheffield United ran out 3-1 winners at Hull City today as Slavisa Jokanovic got a first away win as Blades boss under his belt in East Yorkshire.
Goals from Billy Sharp and a double from John Egan ensured United came back to Sheffield with all three points to make it seven from nine in a week’s worth of fixtures.
Jokanovic made some changes to the side that started against Preston. In came Rhian Brewster (replacing Sander Berge in the warm-up), while Ben Davies, Conor Hourihane, and Ben Osborn were all handed starts as well.
And while it Egan and new loan star Morgan Gibbs-White who took plenty of plaudits at full-time, it’s worth mentioning the impact the aforementioned Davies had on proceedings.
Most Blades fans had called for Jack Robinson to be dropped today. And they got their wish, as the former Forest man was left out of the entire 18.
While we don’t want to continue to wade in on Robinson, the addition of Ben Davies the the Sheffield United team-sheet instantly gave everyone a sense of calm and, dare we say it, relief.
The Liverpool loanee was a solid presence throughout. Yes, the goal came down his side in the second half. But overall, Davies showed everyone what he is all about before being replaced by Chris Basham.
Davies brought balance, composure, and an ability to read the game next to John Egan. While not the most aggressive defender on the eye, Davies made a team high four clearances in the game, per WhoScored.
Indeed, his last ditch hook clear from just a few yards out to prevent another Hull goal proved crucial in the end.
Reasons to be cheerful
With a fully-fit Davies next to Egan, United should be confident that their fortunes at the back will improve. Of course, the Blades would have loved a clean-sheet today. But it wasn’t to be.
But with Enda Stevens also due to return soon, the left side will suddenly have a really experienced and solid look about it. Rhys Norrington-Davies did ok again, but Stevens should and probably will come back in.
This, coupled with the excitement United have now found in their attacking play, should ensure results continue to be picked up.
It’s taken a bit of time, but with the likes of Davies coming good, and others following, United fans can have a lot of optimism going into the next few weeks.