Inability to scratch out point agitates Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder

Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder admitted his side had not been at their best in this defeat at Nottingham Forest and revealed his message to his players was that they must learn to get more from closely-contested games such as this.

Nottingham Forest goalkeeper Costel Pantilimon clears the ball under pressure from Sheffield United's Billy Sharp (Picture: Simon Bellis/Sportimage).

“We haven’t played well and we haven’t got anything from the game and that is something we need to address,” he said.

“The same thing has happened four or five times to us now. I have just said to the players that when we play well we expect to win.

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“There will be times when you don’t play well and the opposition are miles better than you and you don’t get anything from the game – you hold your hands up when that happens.

“But in between there are games that are tight, when you are not as good as you would like to be, but you still have to come away with something. This was one of those games where we haven’t come away with anything from a tight game.

“Our control of the game wasn’t as good as it usually is. Our ’keeper hasn’t had much to do, but neither has their ’keeper.

“It was a low-quality game when you look at the good players who were on show. But Forest have got a result out of it and we haven’t and that is what is most disappointing for us.”

Forest manager Aitor Karanka feels there is still more to come from his side and urged his players to keep working hard following this win over Sheffield United.

Lewis Grabban’s 10th goal in his last 11 appearances was enough to knock the Blades off the summit.

Karanka was delighted with Forest’s performance, but told his players after the final whistle that they are still capable of more after going toe to toe with some of the division’s big-hitters in recent weeks. Forest followed up a recent win at Middlesbrough and a draw that could easily have been three points at Leeds United by edging out the Blades. Karanka said: “We are growing and improving a lot. The big picture is that we beat the top-of-the-table team and the team with the best form in the league.

“But we cannot forget that they have been working together for three years, with the same manager, working together to improve every day.

Nottmingham Forest: Pantilimon, Darikwa, Dawson, Tobias Figueiredo, Robinson, Yacob, Guedioura, Cash (Gil Dias 83), Joao Carvalho, Lolley, Grabban (Ansarifard 90). Unused substitutes: Osborn, Steele, Janko, Tachtsidis, Hefele.

Sheffield United: Henderson, Cranie (Woodburn 80), Egan, O’Connell, Freeman, (Baldock 80), Coutts (McGoldrick 55), Norwood, Fleck, Stevens, Clarke, Sharp. Unused substitutes: Stearman, Johnson, Moore, Washington.

Referee: Scott Duncan (Tyne & Wear).