Nobody to blame but ourselves, says Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder
By the final whistle, they were trudging dejectedly off the pitch following a cruel denouement which saw boyhood Sheffield Wednesday supporter Vardy fire a dramatic stoppage-time winner after being sent clear by James Maddison, who seized upon an error from John Fleck.
The late setback was the Blades’ sixth loss on the trot in the Premier League – and the eighth time this season that they have lost a league game by a one-goal margin.
In the process, United have become just the ninth different team in English Football League history to lose at least 10 of their first 11 league matches of a season – and only the third in the top flight after Newcastle United in 1977-78 and Manchester United in 1930-31.
Wilder’s side are six points adrift of fourth-from-bottom Fulham and have lost 13 of their last 14 matches in the top tier.
On another bruising episode in the club’s campaign, Wilder –who chose not to say anything to his players amid a silent dressing room afterwards – rued: “We have had a few of them this season, haven’t we... We have nobody else to blame, apart from ourselves. We were in a good position and had a throw deep in their half.
“It came back to Bash (Chris Basham) and he does not make a right decision.
“It gets broken up and comes back to John Fleck, who does not make a right decision and the inevitable happens.
“One ball to Jamie Vardy and he is through and he finishes with a goal. He has done it for all of his career at the top end and internationally.
“I am not going to sit here and say we were the better team. They have got some really good players and if you turn the ball over cheaply, they will show the quality that is needed to build momentum in the Premier League.
“When you go deep into a game like that, you are looking for a result. If you cannot win, you do not get beaten. You just cannot lose in the manner (we did).
“I have always said that if someone gets it out of their feet and smashes it into the top corner from 25 or 30 yards like the one last year when it was a bit of brilliance from Harvey Barnes when he half-volleyed one in, you do not like it, but sometimes you have to accept that in the Premier League.
“The manner of the goal was really poor from our point of view.”
Before Vardy’s strike, it was a forward at the opposite end of the pitch who was able to reflect on a special moment, with Oli McBurnie scoring his first goal since July – while finding the net with his twentieth goal attempt in the Premier League this season.
The Scottish international headed home John Lundstram’s 26th-minute corner to put the Blades on terms just two minutes after Ayose Perez fired the visitors in front.
Wilder labelled McBurnie’s performance as outstanding as the £20m frontman ended a 14-match top-flight goal drought.
The Blades chief commented: “It was great for Oli, who I thought was outstanding for us all afternoon.
“The game became stretched, but we felt if we kept our discipline which we did, then maybe something happens at the other end.
“But when you get deep into the game, there has to be a mindset of ‘it is not going to be a win for us, but it has to be something.’ Obviously, it isn’t.
“I have got the ‘ache’ with people saying ‘fine lines’ and this, that and the other.
“We are a losing team at the moment and I am the manager of a losing team at the moment, whether cruel or deserved.”
Report: Page 3
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