Sport Sheffield United assistant Stuart McCall fires warning to players after Derby defeat
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Sheffield United assistant manager Stuart McCall has issued a warning to the players after a lacklustre defeat to Derby County on Saturday.
It was a disappointing performance from the Blades who were back in league action for the first time in 26 days since their win over Fulham in December.
United struggled with Derby’s intensity and found it hard to carve open the Rams, who are fighting for their lives at the bottom of the table.
Stuart McCall led the team in Paul Heckingbottom’s absence and has said that they cannot use the excuse of not playing enough games a reason for their defeat.
He told: “The momentum was halted a little bit after the win at Fulham. We’re coming off the back of winning four games on the bounce but no, we can’t have any excuses.
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“If we were a little bit rusty, we can’t be rusty on Tuesday night. There’s no excuse then.
“We can maybe say to the players after one game in six weeks right that’s your one opportunity now, but there’s 100% no excuse on Tuesday night not to go and put in a performance.”
Sheffield United started to gather momentum before the Christmas break and there was hope they could make a run into the playoffs in the second half of the season.
But McCall has insisted the players cannot feel sorry for themselves: “We were under par but we don’t want a knee jerk reaction from it, we don’t want that ‘the season’s over’ – there’s half a season still to go.”
The Blades are now 14th in the Championship table, ten points adrift of the play-offs, and are next in action when they travel to Deepdale to face Preston North End on Tuesday night.
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It was a poor performance from the Blades and with a squad that is highly dependant on older players, not having much game time isn’t ideal preparation.
Obviously Sheffield United will be hoping that the defeat to Derby is just a blip, which is why McCall is throwing this warning to the players that any below par performance, there’s no excuse for it in midweek.
There will be pressure on United to get results because of the ground they have to make up, getting back to winning ways and gathering momentum will be vital if they are finish in the top six this season.
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