In their latest defeat to Manchester United, Sheffield United started the game in a positive and aggressive manner in front of their fans. The Blades were written off by everybody in the build up to Saturday evening’s match but they were the ones who dominated the early proceedings.
Former Sheffield United striker Carl Asaba admitted on the Blades Heaven podcast that the Blades produced one of the best halves of football he has seen over the last two seasons.
“That was one of the best 45 minutes I’ve seen in the last two seasons, I thought they were brilliant. Everything we asked from this team, the passion, desire, work-rate, determination, and the ability as well.”
The red and white wizards went into the break 1-1 after Oli McBurnie’s penalty cancelled out Scott McTominay’s fortuitous volleyed effort that was arguably against the run of play.
Unfortunately, United’s number nine was forced off very early into the second half because of a groin problem, which now has everyone holding their breath over the extent of the injury.
“It was a massive loss losing McBurnie – him and Archer were brilliant. When you lose McBurnie, you lose so much going forward and defensively. The formation was much better, but the actual application was much better. No matter what formation you put out, I thought the application in the last two games wasn’t there but full credit to the boys.”
Paul Heckingbottom still has a ton of questions hanging over his head: regarding the continuous muscle injuries suffered by his players, and his team’s system. But the former Blade, Asaba, insists the players “can be proud” of their efforts against Manchester United.
“There were questions about the manager, whether he could rally the boys or had their heads gone. You can’t doubt what they have given, they ran their socks off for the manager and that’s all you can ask. They can be proud of what they’ve done for us.”