SHEFFIELD UNITED boss Chris Wilder hailed match-winner Leon Clarke’s spirit after his second-half strike sealed the points in a five-goal thriller at Brentford.
The veteran striker insisted on travelling with the squad to Griffin Park after pulling up in training and Wilder was quick to praise his contribution.
Clarke’s goal settled a topsy-turvy game in which Neal Maupay gave Brentford an early lead and United hit back through Ezri Konsa’s own goal and Oliver Norwood’s strike only for John Fleck’s own goal to level the score.
“He wanted to travel and give it a go so he started on bench and I was delighted for him scoring,” said Wilder.
“That sends a good message to the squad that a player who wasn’t quite there wanted to travel. We had a few angry words over the weekend and I steamed into them and tonight you’ve seen a proper Sheffield United performance.”
But Wilder felt the margin of the win should have been greater and said: “There weren’t really any nerves and our goalkeeper hasn’t had an unbelievable amount to save and couldn’t do much about the two deflections for their goals.
“Realistically we had to weather little bits and pieces but we were really disciplined without the ball. We hit the bar, missed a couple of chances and could have been a little bit tidier to make it that bit easier.”
Wilder was delighted at how his players responded after the 2-2 derby draw at Rotherham and added: “It’s been a tough two or three days for the players and we asked questions of them - I didn’t really enjoy it on Saturday and I wanted to see what they produced tonight, so I was delighted with that response.
“You have to fight and earn the right in this division and it was about showing a character performance with ability thrown in, and I believe we deserved to win a really tight game.”
You have to fight and earn the right in this division and it was about showing a character performance with ability thrown in, and I believe we deserved to win a really tight game.Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder