Blades reaction: The only bright spot was start of match, admits Wilder

Chris Wilder manager of Sheffield Utd takes off John Lundstram. Picture: Simon Bellis/Sportimage
Chris Wilder manager of Sheffield Utd takes off John Lundstram. Picture: Simon Bellis/Sportimage
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Garry Monk was impressed with the character on display in Birmingham’s 2-1 Sky Bet Championship win over Sheffield United that lifted them to the brink of safety.

The Blues boss was full of praise for his players as they increased their recent unbeaten home record to four games to move them five points clear of the drop zone.

Birmingham’s tenacious spirit enabled them to claw their way back into the game after the Blades had taken a sixth-minute lead through Mark Duffy.

The recalled Marc Roberts responded with his first goal of the season after 31 minutes to level for Birmingham before Jacques Maghoma produced a fine solo effort to notch the vital winner in the 69th minute.

Monk said: “It was a huge step forward in our situation but it is definitely not job done although the other results went our way.

“To go a goal behind in the Championship is hard enough. But it was great to see the mentality and belief of the players.

“It was a real gutsy performance and quality at times. The atmosphere was the best I’ve witnessed and we came away with the three points.

“I was not happy conceding the early goal but the response is exactly what I’ve been seeking. The players are fully conscious of the situation we are in and they are fighting and showing belief.

“We have been building in recent weeks and the win over Sheffield United was our best since I arrived.

“We are definitely a step closer to safety but the only people who are going to get us out of this situation is ourselves.

“The performance all round was brilliant in a difficult situation. It was full of grit and determination.

“We had quality when it was needed when we scored the two goals after going behind so early in the game. We could have crumbled but we fought back to take the three precious points.”

Sheffield United’s boss Chris Wilder was not impressed by the performance produced by his side.

He said: “The only bright part of the game for me was the start.

“We just didn’t play good enough individually all over the pitch. We lost too many balls and made some really poor decisions.

“When we have done well we have played as a group. On this occasion there were too many players who had a poor game.

“When that happens you know you are not going to get a result. We didn’t deserve to win as Birmingham did enough to take the points and that is all that matters.

“We had a great opportunity to achieve something this season. But we have not come up with big enough moments when we were doing well. That is the difference between us the teams who are in the play-offs.”