Derby County 0 Sheffield United 1: Homework pays off for Blades, says Speed

SHEFFIELD United manager Gary Speed admitted it paid to do his homework after seeing his side clinch a second successive Championship win with a 1-0 victory at Derby.

Blades striker Richard Cresswell converted full-back Jean Calve's right-wing cross in the 15th minute to settle the contest and condemn Derby to their third defeat in five league matches.

Speed, whose side beat Preston 1-0 in their last game, said: "We had a lot of things to work on after the win a couple of weeks ago. To win any game away from home is a great result wherever you are, but this gives me something to work on and while it would have been nice to finish them off I thought we were pretty comfortable.

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"The players I have got work ever so hard every day of the week so the amount of work they do is never in question, so that's where the coaches and myself come in and determine what kind of work they do.

"You look at the opposition and see how they play, we watched videos before the game and had a pretty good idea of how Derby would play. Against QPR here in the last match they played really well and were the better team by a long chalk.

"They deserved to win comfortably, so I was a bit apprehensive in that respect, but we had a long time to plan and fortunately it's come off."

Speed added: "We didn't create enough chances against Preston, which is what we have been working on, but we created a lot more – we just didn't finish them off. But if we had been told before the game we would win 1-0 at a place like Derby we would have been very pleased and I thought the players got what they deserved."

Derby manager Nigel Clough revealed he is trying to sign another striker after seeing his side fail to offer much in front of goal.

Clough said: "When we did get in the positions the decision-making was poor or the execution of it. We were shooting from daft angles or not shooting when we were in good positions and the young lads were getting a bit confused out there."

Clough conceded his side turned in their worst display of the season and created little against a well-organised Blades side. He said: "That was by far our poorest performance so far this season. Sheffield United deserve a lot of credit for the way they set up and stopped us playing, but we certainly have to do more than that to create something. We looked a little bit lethargic, which was a little bit of a surprise to everybody."

Derby: Bywater; Brayford, Barker, Leacock, Roberts (Doyle 81); Bailey, Savage (Bueno 61), Cywka, Green (Martin 72); Moxey, Commons. Unused substitutes: Deeney, Anderson, Pringle. Booked: Roberts.

Sheffield United: Simonsen; Calve (Lowton 74), Nosworthy, Bartley, Jordan; Ward (Yeates 86), Ertl, Montgomery, Britton; Cresswell, Evans (Quinn 63). Unused substitutes: Aksalu, Morgan, Bogdanovic.

Referee: Phil Crossley (Kent).

Man of the match: Richard Cresswell.

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