JOSE BAXTER has hailed Sheffield United’s prize-fighter resolve in beating Carlisle – after admitting the Blades were running on empty in the final stages on Wednesday night.
The Blades secured a record-equalling 10th straight victory with a determined 1-0 win over the Cumbrian side thanks to a 28th-minute strike from Baxter.
It also equalled a record for league clean sheets, seven in total, with the hosts defying physical and mental fatigue to claim three points just three days on from their glorious, but exhausting FA Cup quarter-final success over Charlton.
While Baxter’s goal ultimately proved the difference, he insists it was a success borne out of a collective willingness not to yield and to keep their proud winning sequence and unblemished recent defensive streak intact.
Baxter said: “At times, we were on the ropes and showed how tough we are. In the last 15 minutes you could see the lads nearly had nothing left in their legs.
“But they managed to grind their teeth. The fans just made us run that extra yard and put 10 minutes in our legs.”
On the Blades achieving a ‘perfect 10’ of consecutive victories, he added: “We have been talking about it and there are a lot of lads who have a lot more experience than some of us and who have played the game a lot longer who have said they had not even come close to winning 10 in a row. It’s an honour for us young lads to be a part of that in such an early part of our career.
“It just goes to show how good the togetherness and toughness is in the changing room at the minute. There’’s not many teams about, even in the world, who have won 10 on the bounce with so many clean sheets. Long may it continue.”
Blades boss Nigel Clough was also quick to laud his side’s character and application following on from Sunday’s emotionally draining experiences.
Rather than make sweeping changes, Clough just made one enforced alteration to his line-up from the weekend, with Ben Davies replacing John Brayford as his players did him proud again.
Clough said: “I am running out of superlatives to describe the effort that is going in.
“We were on our knees at times in the second half on Wednesday, dead on our feet. But we just kept going.”