Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder was delighted that his team’s performance was finally matched with a positive result as they held on to beat QPR 2-1.
Richard Stearman and John Lundstram put the Blades in control as they dominated the game, until Luke Freeman scored to set up a nervy finish.
Stearman slotted the opening goal from a 27th minute corner, connecting with Leon Clarke’s headed flick-on.
Conor Washington missed two good chances to level, before Lundstram blasted in the second at the back post, bursting into the box late to reach Billy Sharp’s low cross five minutes into the second half.
The Blades, looking comfortable, then allowed Freeman space and he punished them with a driven shot that found the bottom right corner just after the hour. QPR pushed on whilst United continued to drop deeper as they dug deep to hold on.
Wilder said: “I thought we played well. We let them back into the game. I said don’t be embarrassed about the players you’re playing against.
“To win the game of football tonight is a real good achievement for us and I’m delighted at the way we played. I’m delighted at the end where we had to find a way to see the game out, which we did.
“We would have loved it to have been a lot easier but we’re talking Championship football, so I’m not going to be too critical about us winning games at this level of football. We deserved to win tonight, no doubt in my mind.
“I thought the front two were good all night again. I thought Leon (Clarke) was the outstanding player for us, even though he’d loved to have scored. Whether he linked it up or ran down the side, I thought he was great and it was a fantastic performance from him.”
Queens Park Rangers manager Ian Holloway heaped praise on the opposition, saying: “We played a very good team. Their manager deserves all sorts of credit, their staff deserves all sorts of credit, the crowd deserves all sorts of credit from how far they’ve come.
“I thought we should’ve scored first. I thought we started in a good way but unfortunately that’s the story of our season away from home. Even our fans are singing a song about it and it’s starting to get on my nerves now.
“Listen, you can’t let goals in like we did from a set-play. Someone didn’t mark the man at the back post and somebody’s played everyone onside and left us wide open.
“You’ve got to say they were clinical, they looked like they believed they were going to do it. Normally they go on and smash everyone so I’m proud that we managed to come back and make a fight of it.”