Sheffield United’s 1-0 win over Arsenal felt like a statement from the Premier League new boys but John Fleck insists the Blades still have plenty of improving to do.
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Until Monday night, Chris Wilder’s side were building a reputation as a team who gave their opponents a tough time at Bramall Lane but ultimately struggled to beat them, so for Lys Mousset to score the only goal of the game felt significant.
Midfielder Fleck was reluctant to get too carried away, though.
“It was fantastic,” said the Scotland international. “It’s obviously great for the fans that we got a result. The last few results at home had been very frustrating. They’d not really matched our performances, but we got that goal that mattered.
“I’m not too sure how people will react to it. For us it’s just the same every week, we always try and work as hard as we can and get our rewards at the end of the game and on this occasion, we’ve done that.”
Wilder said after the game his players would not get too carried away, and Fleck was proof of that.
“We can always improve,” he reflected. “We gave them a couple of chances in the first half. It was a great performance and we had to defend very well. They have some world-class players, especially at the top end of the pitch.”
Having taken the lead after an hour, the Blades were under the cosh for the rest of the match, although not without posing threats of their own. Fleck twice went close with long-range efforts.
There was no shame in having to do plenty of defending against the Europa League finalists.
“We expect that every single week in this league,” said Fleck. “Teams like Arsenal are full of stars.
“Defenders have to block shots and defend in the box and we did that again.”