A fifth Premier League win of the season was just about deserved for Sheffield United last night, as they saw off Brighton at Bramall Lane.
Paul Heckingbottom was delighted to get his first win since taking over from Chris Wilder until the end of the campaign. Heckingbottom has worked hard to try and keep spirits up, something David McGoldrick acknowledged following the game.
The United boss once again went with a slight change of shape. Ben Osborn and Rhian Brewster were tasked with playing alongside McGoldrick at the top of the pitch.
And while Brewster didn’t get that elusive first goal, there were signs from the big-money summer signing. Signs that we haven’t really seen at all before that should encourage us for next season.
Rhian Brewster impresses for Sheffield United against Brighton
While the stats, per WhoScored, will say Brewster only had 21 touches of the football, what he did with those touches was better.
One crucial ‘touch’ (if we can call it that), fell to David McGoldrick to fire in the winner for United. Brewster also took two snap shots from the around the end of the box. One of which was destined for the bottom corner only to be blocked by Brighton’s giant defenders.
Heckingbottom had spoken about the need for Brewster to do more work off the ball. He certainly did that more last night, tracking back, busying about, and getting his reward – which Hecky was clearly delighted with – when he pressured the Brighton defence before the goal.
He made one or two excellent runs. One, in particular, during the second half where Didzy should have rolled the ball through to him.
Once again, Brewster didn’t finish the 90 minutes. But he offered up just a small glimpse of what he might bring to the table next season. The Championship should afford him more opportunities. Brewster knows the league already, and will have the added confidence of knowing he can score goals at that level.
This is a young man who’s not had the start at Sheffield United he wanted. But he’s also clearly someone who wants to do well, both personally, and for the team. His ecstatic celebration when McGoldrick tucked his goal away showed you that.
Hopefully, this win, and the performance in general, should give both Rhian Brewster and United a timely lift.