Sheffield United 1-0 Barnsley: No plus points for Heckingbottom as encouraged Wilder asks for clinical edge

Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder (Photo: Sportimage)
Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder (Photo: Sportimage)
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Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder was happy his side snuffed out the losing habit quickly with a 1-0 South Yorkshire derby win over Barnsley at Bramall Lane.

Having won the final seven games of last season on their way to League One title glory and the first two of this campaign, United have had the unfamiliar taste of defeat over the last week following losses at Middlesbrough and Cardiff.

But Billy Sharp's first-half goal got them back to winning ways and extended their home streak to nine victories on the bounce, going back to a League One draw with Scunthorpe in February.

It should have been a more convincing victory for Wilder's men, something he did complain about, but he knows the three points were the most important thing.

"We played well today, we needed to be a little bit more positive in the final third after the last two games," he said.

"We needed to be better in the final third today and I thought we did that. We are a little bit disappointed we have not put the game to bed.

Chris Wilder shows his appreciation to Mark Duffy's performance (Photo: Sportimage)

Chris Wilder shows his appreciation to Mark Duffy's performance (Photo: Sportimage)

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"The slight criticism of my team is that we didn't put them to bed, I thought we played some really good stuff.

"We are used to winning and whatever it takes to win a game of football we need to do.

"The attitude is without doubt unquestionable and the enthusiasm to go and get a result for this football club is great. It was important today to get back to winning ways."

Sharp scored his 20th goal in the last 29 games in the 17th minute when he converted Enda Stevens' cross - his second match-winning goal of the season.

Billy Sharp tussles with Barnsley defender Matty Pearson (Photo: Sportimage)

Billy Sharp tussles with Barnsley defender Matty Pearson (Photo: Sportimage)

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Both sides played the second half with 10 men after Blades striker Leon Clarke and Reds defender Angus MacDonald were dismissed just before half-time for clashing - a decision neither manager had grievances with.

United remained the stronger team and could have finished the game off but David Brooks hit the post and Jack O'Connell brought a flying save out of goalkeeper Adam Davies.

Barnsley, who have lost three out of their four league games, never looked like getting back into the contest and boss Paul Heckingbottom knows his side are on a learning curve.

He said: "It was disappointing. Compared to the last two performances it was chalk and cheese. The players know that. We started on the back foot and it was a game too far for us.

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"It was a first derby for a lot of them, the first time we played three times in a week, I need to learn about these players. There wasn't many who came out with positives today.

"That's how every game is for us. It's no different to the last game when we won, I am always learning. That's what happens when you take players from the lower leagues."