In the first half, Sheffield United struggled to establish a foothold in the match, and it seemed like Wolves were the dominant side, particularly dangerous on the counter-attack. This was partly due to Sheffield United’s frequent turnovers in possession. The Blades did well in breaking up play, but they looked rushed and panicked in possession. However, the game dynamics changed with the introduction of James McAtee.
McAtee, on loan from Manchester City, was initially scheduled to come on at half-time but entered the match a bit earlier after Rhian Brewster sustained a knee injury. His presence was instrumental in Sheffield United’s improved possession and performance in the second half. While not every move he made was successful, James McAtee provided the team with a ball-carrying ability and better control in the final third.
“The one thing that we did change because of how Wolves had set up instead of Macca coming on and playing as a 10 we went with a front three of Gus, Cam and Macca,” Paul Heckingbottom stated on SUTV.
“That was the only unplanned change. He was always coming on but that was a slight change. It just allowed us on the regain to have three men ahead of the ball to receive it and Macca if he can control the ball he’s a carrier and that’s something we didn’t have in the first half.”
Heading into the match against Wolves there was talk among the fans about wishing they brought Tommy Doyle back instead of McAtee, although, in Saturday’s game Doyle was ineffective, whereas the ‘Salford Silva’ was the polar opposite of that.