Sheffield United take on Barnsley this weekend and Slavisa Jokanovic has been doing his usual media duties ahead of the big Yorkshire derby at Oakwell.
With three defeats from four, the game against the Reds suddenly looks like a huge one for Sheffield United. It’s a very winnable game, too, with Barnsley struggling near the foot of the table. However, as we all know too well, things can change quickly in football.
The Blades head into the clash off the back of a late defeat against Millwall in midweek. A late Jake Cooper rocket condemned ten man United to another home loss, after Morgan Gibbs-White has been red-carded.
During that game, goalkeeper Robin Olsen was beaten from distance and width by Jed Wallace. Indeed, Wallace has since admitted there was an element of luck to his goal.
However, Jokanovic, in an unusual move, has admitted that Olsen could be doing better, although he refused to dig him out specifically for the goal.
“He (Olsen) can be at a better level. But we can all be at a better level,” Jokanovic said of the Swedish stopper.
“Listen, normally I never hold one guy guilty for a goal. We can all do better, including myself. We need to find better levels. With confidence, we can be a better team than we are right now. Yes, I am confident we will see more from him. But I repeat one more time, all our work is done in front of thousands of people. This is normal in football and it means people constantly assess our work.”
Our View: Robin Olsen with lots to prove to Blades fans
The goal was a bit of a freak. Yes, you could say Olsen might have done better, but on another day that goes nowhere near him.
The worrying and more pressing issue for Olsen among Blades fans, in our opinion, is his lack of commanding of the box. Time and again against Millwall he failed to come and collect the ball in his area. Sometimes, he even sat on his line with the ball looping above the six yard box.
At Championship level, that has to be better. His mistake against Preston was the stuff of nightmares, while he was also lucky the flag went up in the first-half before Jed Wallace scored that goal.
Certainly, Olsen can be better. He’s an international goalkeeper with a big reputation. More is expected of him. And when he starts delivering on that, surely this team’s results will improve as well.