Sheffield United lost out yet again in the Championship last night as Millwall came away from Bramall Lane with all three points from a wet Bramall Lane.
All in all, it was a miserable night for the Blades. One of the sloppiest starts in recent memory saw Jed Wallace fire a cross-come-shot over Robin Olsen for the opener. It was another red-faced moment for Olsen, despite there being an element of luck to the strike.
To his credit, Slavisa Jokanovic acted quickly and replaced the abysmal Conor Hourihane with Iliman Ndiaye. The change put United on the front foot, and they equalised before half-time. However, despite dominating the opening ten minutes of the second period, Morgan Gibbs-White’s red card and Jayden Bogle’s injury changed the game completely.
To cap things off, Jake Cooper fired in a stunning late winner to condemn United to a third home defeat of the season.
And following the game, captain Billy Sharp made an admission that many United fans will have seen for some time with this Blades side.
Sharp Hints at Mental Weakness for United
Fronting up to the cameras once again last night, Sharp – who scored his fourth goal of the season from the spot – hinted that the Blades struggle with going one down and it needs to change.
“I thought the win against Stoke would have given us some belief. But we just lacked that belief tonight. Going a goal down does seem to trouble us a little bit,” Sharp admitted.
“When we got 1-0 up here, we look unstoppable. We need to start making sure go 1-0 up and we didn’t do that tonight.”
Millwall had rarely troubled United in fairness. However, the opening period was once again miles away from where it needs to be. In fact, Millwall had the ball in net before their opener as well, only to see it disallowed.
The Lions’ late winner was the third home game in which United have conceded at the death. A habit that Slavisa Jokanovic quickly needs to iron out of this side.
Our View: Losing mentality still firmly in some of this team
Sharp’s comments here an observation that many Blades fans will have made for months and months now. It set in last season in the Premier League, and has carried on into this term.
Sure, we came back and saw off Stoke. But how many times are we going to lose the lead in games and give ourselves that uphill battle? Birmingham, Huddersfield, West Brom, Stoke, Middlesbrough, and now Millwall have all struck first.
It’s a definite problem in this squad. The heads seem to dip, and it takes a moment of quality or a mistake from the opposition to get us back going.
Sharp’s admission is at least refreshing. Hopefully, then, it’s something they can address as a squad before Barnsley.