Markus Schopp and Slavisa Jokanovic both unhappy at outcome of Barnsley FC and Sheffield United
In Schopp’s case, one player bit back, with Devante Cole absolving him of credit for his team’s comeback.
The Blades won 3-2 at Oakwell yesterday but Jokanovic was unhappy at how they panicked en route to a much more comfortable afternoon, having led 3-0 through two goals from Lys Mousset and one from Ben Osborn.
The Reds had the encouragement of a stirring fightback in which Schopp brought Cole and Aaron Leya Iseka off the bench and watched both score their first goals for him.
But it was not enough to avoid a sixth-straight defeat which places the coach’s future in serious doubt as fans called for him to be sacked before and after the comeback.
And Cole put the boot in at full-time by pointedly saying: “After the third goal we all got together and said, ‘Come on boys, no more,’ but I think that’s just come from the group on the pitch. We said we needed to show something now and I think you saw the boys rallying together.”
Schopp insisted the problem was not his gameplan and instead criticised his players for sloppy mistakes and poor set-pieces, and blamed the effect injuries are having on a small squad.
“To get the 3-2 is positive but at the end it’s another defeat so I can’t be happy,” he said. “I’m happy that two guys scored who didn’t score before and that we created some chances in the last 20 minutes. We got the ball in the box, we had set-pieces and to be honest our set-pieces were a disaster.
“When you know it’s even because the situation is not easy for them (Sheffield United) or for us, set pieces can change everything. This is definitely something that was not good enough.”
Schopp, who lost Jordan Williams and Romal Palmer to injury on Saturday, was asked how he could eliminate the mistakes.
“This is the situation with young players,” he replied. “This is the price we have to pay.
“Young players can make mistakes but right now we pay a big price for each one.
“It’s part of the game but with these errors we get beaten and punished every time.
“It could be easy to make a switch but in certain positions we don’t have many options. Young players need to compete, to get the feeling I have to go on, and right now in certain positions they don’t have to think about it – they’re going to play because there is no competition.
“The plan is not the problem, it’s much more mistake, mistake, mistake. I can point them out and say we have to learn, analyse everything, but sometimes you have to make progress. If they don’t make it, it will be the end.”
The Blades have kept one clean sheet in their last 10 games, and Jokanovic put their fragility down to a weak mentality yesterday.
“To be scared to play football is outside of the normal,” he said. “You can be scared of water or lions but not playing football.
“We should be able to play with more personality.
“It’s my sensation when they score the first goal my team is thinking they will score two or three more.
“If you are thinking in this direction it’s negative.
“You want to be thinking about being organised and looking to score the fourth or fifth with all respect to Barnsley.
“We gave them oxygen to believe they could find something positive. It’s simple but it’s not acceptable.”
Analysis: Page 2