Paul Heckingbottom laments some 'shocking' decision-making from Sheffield United

SHEFFIELD UNITED manager Paul Heckingbottom admitted that some 'shocking' decision-making from his side threw the prospect of victory away as the Blades were again pegged back at the death in a second 2-2 Roses draw against Preston this season.

United were full value for a 2-0 interval lead at Deepdale, given to them courtesy of Jayden Bogle's second goal of the season and a 39th-minute penalty from Billy Sharp - which came after North End defender Andrew Hughes saw red for bringing down Rhian Brewster.

Despite their numerical advantage, plucky Preston showed heart on the restart, while United failed to put the game to bed with a third goal and paid the price.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Alan Browne pulled a goal back to set up a grandstand finish and the stage was set for Emil Riis, who followed up his late leveller in the reverse fixture at Bramall Lane with a repeat dose when he turned in a cross from ex-United striker Ched Evans.

Sheffield United manager Paul Heckingbottom pictured at Preston. Picture: PA.Sheffield United manager Paul Heckingbottom pictured at Preston. Picture: PA.
Sheffield United manager Paul Heckingbottom pictured at Preston. Picture: PA.

Heckingbottom said: "We threw it away and undid so much good work at both ends of the pitch and could have/would have/should have been three, four or five (goals up), whatever you want to call it. We had good chances from good play and then two killer blows at the end..

"They were always going to take chances, with eight, nine or ten men.. It was a sucker punch and tough one to take, whatever you want to say..

"We made some shocking decisions at key moments. We were 2-0 up and had done all the hard work and played exceptionally well for seventy minutes. We had more than enough quality and experience to see the game out and made substitutions to do that and it was just poor decisions at key moments.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"It is really disappointing and I am learning about the players all the time and the thing I take from this is, regardless of experience and how many games we have played, I have got to put things in place so that when we are in those positions again, we are fine.

"There's things in there for me to look at, definitely. But the overriding message is we have undone some really good work."

Loan keeper Robin Olsen was unveiled as an Aston Villa player earlier today after returning from his loan spell at United to parent club AS Roma ahead of switching to the Midlands.

Heckingbottom said: "Wes (Foderingham) got in the team when Robin was injured and he was deserved his place in the team and I said that. He (Olsen) is not our player and Roma had an opportunity to try and cash in on the player, so then it becomes a different circumstance."

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.