Sheffield United's Paul Heckingbottom admits his Blades were too blunt against Arsenal

Paul Heckingbottom felt Sheffield United did not test Arsenal enough during their 3-0 defeat at Bramall Lane.

DEJECTED: Sheffield United's John Lundstram and Ben Osborn
DEJECTED: Sheffield United's John Lundstram and Ben Osborn

The Gunners played very well in the first half but they were not overly tested by the bottom-of-the-table side and were able to cruise through the second half.

“First half I felt we didn't have enough control over Arsenal when they had the ball,” said interim manager Heckingbottom. “Even though we tried to step onto them and press they got through us too easily so we had to make a change tactically one to get more control over them and two to have more bodies higher up the pitch for when we had it.”

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The Blades switched to a midfield diamond with Ben Osborn in the hole and saw more of the ball without causing too many alarms.

“We might have had eight or nine shots but probably three good chances and not ones where we really worked the keeper,” said Heckingbottom. “We had ones where we should have.

“We would have liked more opportunities. I felt we got more when we won the ball higher up in the second half. In the first half we had a lot of the ball in our half of the pitch

“It's something we've got to keep striving for.

“One thing I did say to the players is we're only going to criticise each other in there (the dressing room). We know when standards slip and when things are right and wrong and we have to identify and speak about it but I'm not going to criticise them out here.

“Everyone's got an opinion on you and you get used to that. There will be enough people having a pop outside the building, that's part of the territory but we're certainly not going to do that. We'll be really truthful and honest in the dressing room and on the training round, then back each other 100 per cent to try and improve performances.”

Oli McBurnie was sent for an X-ray on his foot after the substitute went off injured.

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