The games don’t get any easier for Sheffield United, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Manchester United up next for the Blades.
Chris Wilder’s men hit a new low this weekend. In a nutshell, the team were steamrolled by a rampant Southampton side. Better in all areas, including it seemed, workrate, the Saints simply had too much for United.
Of course, other factors aren’t helping United. Injuries to key men and then the replacements of those key men are hindering Wilder’s plans. Kean Bryan, for example, is now missing for a month after doing ok in his handful of appearances at left centre-back.
But away from injuries and other aspects, the Blades remain almost painful on the eye in front of goal. A league low five goals (two of which have come from the spot) makes miserable reading.
Wilder, to his credit, has tried different pairings. McBurnie and Sharp, McBurnie and McGoldrick, Burke and McBurnie, the list goes on. Not one striker has really grasped their chance with both hands, despite effort levels being fine in the main.
Thankfully, up front is the one area of the pitch where United seem to have options and availability. McBurnie remains touch and go thanks to the weekend but Wilder does have choices
One pairing we haven’t seen yet has been the duo of Lys Mousset, and Rhian Brewster. The Frenchman is just back from injury but came on at the weekend, while Brewster, it seems, is still taking a bit of time to bed into life in Sheffield.
But with just five goals to our name and coming up against a Man United defence which has just kept Man City at bay, surely the time has come to unleash the pair, even if it’s just for an hour.
Both players had an impact against West Brom when they came on. In fact, Mousset and Brewster probably should have scored.
Nothing to lose
The fact at the moment is that things cannot be any worse. Nobody is in form. Nobody is oozing with confidence.
But Brewster, you’d hope, should have a fearlessness about him that young players bring to the table. Mousset, meanwhile, is never one for lacking confidence and last season, he caused the Red Devils all sorts of problems at Bramall Lane.
The game with Man U is a free hit. Nobody expects us to win and if we do get something, then it could (finally) be the catalyst for improvement.
Chucking Mousset and Brewster up there together, then, in the absence of McBurnie, could be just the ticket for Wilder and Knill.