Sheffield United manager Paul Heckingbottom appeared to have no time for sympathy for Iliman Ndiaye, after his golden missed chance against Manchester City.
Ndiaye found himself free in the box in the opening minute but scuffed his effort at goal, allowing City stoppert Ortega to make the save. It was the closest United would come all day, as City showed their class as the game wore on.
It was a huge moment in the game and of all the players United have, most would have wanted it to be Ndiaye who the ball fell to so close to goal.
However, when the media put that to Heckingbottom, the Blades boss was in no mood to make excuses. Instead, Heckingbottom insisted it’s a learning curve and that simply, Ndiaye has to deliver in those moments.
“Possibly. Listen, there’s lessons to be learned here. If we get the points we want and need, that’s the benchmark. If you want to be a top, top player then you’ve got to perform in those moments,” Heckingbottom said.
Ndiaye went on to have a quiet game by his usual brilliant standards. He did have one excellent moment in the second half when he skipped past a City defender to slip in Billy Sharp.
Sheffield United News View: Ndiaye will be gutted
There is no doubt that the chance that fell to Ndiaye was what he’ll have been dreaming of the night before the game.
It did come to him quickly but a player of his quality should be scoring or doing better. He scuffed his effort a bit and in the end, Ortega just needed to make himself big to keep it out.
Of course, there’s no criticism from us towards Ndiaye. He is a class act and has been nothing short of superb this season.
Hopefully, he’s saved his shooting boots for Wednesday night and then Wembley can be forgotten about as the promotion party starts.