The Blades crashed out of the Carabao Cup at their first hurdle, against Lincoln City, after a flat performance and a poor penalty shoot-out on Tuesday evening.
Sheffield United named a relatively strong side which consisted of Premier League starters such as John Egan and Oli Norwood, whilst Cameron Archer and Oli McBurnie were also given minutes.
Even though manager Paul Heckingbottom named a good team, the performance on the pitch was far from good across the whole 90 minutes. The Blades didn’t create a single clear cut chance, despite dominating possession. Subsequently, they only registered two efforts on target against the League One opposition.
Louie Marsh and Bénie Traoré saw their penalties saved, and captain John Egan blazed his spot kick over the bar which capped off a terrible evening for United.
After the game, assistant manager Stuart McCall spoke to the press about the performance:
“Hugely poor. Flat performance and a poor result – no getting away from it. We were bored ourselves watching it.”
“No excuses from the side we put out. We should have performed better with a better tempo about our game. Second half we got in behind a couple of times but other than that it was pretty dull.”
The Carabao Cup provided an opportunity for fringe players to get minutes, and for players coming back from injury to catch up on sharpness. The match also provided Sheffield United’s latest signing Cameron Archer the chance to get used to his new teammates and a new system.
McCall was asked about Archer’s debut in which he responded with:
“His goals talk for himself. Their back three defended the space well behind and not many options to get him in behind, but we have to be more creative. We didn’t give him a lot but he had an hour under his belt.”
Sheffield United have a huge match coming up against Everton at Bramall Lane, on Saturday.