Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder has slammed the majority of players he picked in the defeat to Sunderland.
The Blades were eliminated from the Carabao Cup following a 1-0 home loss to their League One opponents.
Wilder made 10 changes to the team that won 2-0 at Everton in the Premier League at the weekend. Several fringe players had the chance to impress their boss, but very few of them took it.
“I know at the moment I’m picking the right team because not enough was done by the players out the team to force their way in,” Wilder told BBC Radio Sheffield.
“They’ve not taken it individually and collectively. In every part of the game we were second best.
“Hopefully we don’t pick up any injuries from now on in because there’s a few of them that are going to struggle to get into the team.”
The Sheffield United players who did impress in defeat
It wasn’t all doom and gloom for United, despite a ninth minute goal from Max Power knocking them out of the competition at the fourth round stage.
There were a few that might have played themselves into contention for the weekend – when Liverpool are the visitors to Bramall Lane on Saturday for the lunchtime kickoff.
“The players have not done themselves any justice. Apart from the two centre forwards, who I thought were good first half,” Wilder continued.
“The two centre forwards that came on were good and Mo (Besic) I thought was good. I didn’t think anyone else really took that opportunity to grab my attention.”
Callum Robinson and Lys Mousset started upfront for the Blades. Both have already been regularly involved in league action in any case.
As has Oli McBurnie, who came on to replace Mousset in the 57th minute. Yet there was also a rare opportunity for Leon Clarke, who was expected to leave in the summer after being transfer-listed.
Clearly Clarke caught the eye and although there is significant competition in attack for a place, perhaps he may get more opportunities moving forwards.
Besic is also yet to play in the league. The Everton loanee could also be taking to the field in the near future.