Middlesbrough’s win can be ‘kick up the backside’ for Sheffield United, says Neil Warnock

Neil Warnock was able to console himself that beating his beloved Sheffield United on Tuesday could be the best thing for them.

Warnock’s Middlesbrough ended his former club’s five-match unbeaten run in the Championship with a well-deserved 2-0 win at the Riverside.

But the Sheffield-born manager had no concerns about the Blades either as he and Slavisa Jokanovic tried to keep things in perspective.

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“I thought we played some good stuff, which might have just thrown them a bit!” joked Warnock.

Neil Warnock: His Boro side inflicted a first defeat in six on old club Sheffield United. (Picture: PA)

“They’re a good side, he’s a good manager. I think he’s a great choice for my old club, Slav, I’ve always had a lot of time for him.

“He knows it’s always hard against me, we always have battles.

“I’m sure they’ll do well for the rest of the season.

“Sometimes you need a kick up the backside when you’re one of the top sides, don’t you? I’m sure they’ll not be far away.”

Middlesbrough's Matt Crooks heads the ball during the Sky Bet Championship match at Riverside Stadium, Middlesbrough. (Picture: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire)

His opposite number Jokanovic was not about to over-react to defeat.

“I am always dissatisfied after a defeat and I cannot be happy but I cannot be surprised because we know what can happen,” he said.

“It’s important to continue the process. We need to be strong.

“I hope in three days we can offer a different face, a different level and a different performance.

Sheffield United's Jack Robinson (centre) battles for the ball with Middlesbrough's Matt Crooks (left) and Lee Peltier (Picture: PA)

“There are always opponents and they did their job very well. It wasn’t easy for us and they didn’t give us the spaces we expected.

“When you are fighting for an important target you must be ready for different situations and these kind of games remind me a little bit of the West Bromwich game where we suffered a lot with set pieces after a physical challenge.

“The team understands we didn’t do enough well but we will be ready for the next challenge.”