Olly writes his latest piece following Monday’s draw away at Wednesday.
I am away again at the moment but managed to get to a bar to watch the derby match with a few other Blades fans.
I thought the line-up that CW fielded in his starting eleven last night was a fair and strong side. JOC and Basham were back in at the back and Madine started alongside Sharp up front. I know Dowell has been playing well but thought that Duffy might have had a start to see if he could upset the Wendy’s again for this game.
I don’t think we managed to play our “normal” style of play last night, there weren’t many overlapping runs from the backs and it was a bit of a stop start game really, a lot of fouls on both sides, but to be fair it was a derby game and the players will have been pumped up ready for this match on both sides.
We did run out on top with the stats though, with possession, shots and corners, but didn’t manage to find the onion bag this time. Having said that though, I’m a bit disappointed that Madine didn’t get awarded a penalty in the first half after being pulled down in their penalty area. Other than that I thought the referee was pretty fair throughout the game last night.
I was impressed with our travelling fans last night though, quality support for the lads. You could hear them in full voice drowning out the piggies in the other three stands. At least we never need stadium-mounted microphones to make us sound louder!! Seriously though the fans have been the best twelfth man this season and I’m sure the players are impressed with the support they give.
It puts us third though, which I was hoping, like everyone else, for the full three points to keep the pressure on Leeds and Norwich. As it stands we are now two points behind Leeds, and I think we can keep the pressure on for our next couple of games, which are both at home. Rotherham on Saturday and then Brentford next Tuesday. The crunch match is the following Saturday away at Leeds and it would be good to come away from Elland Road with all the points and hopefully close the gap on Leeds.
I think Leeds will struggle with their next game being away at Ashton Gate, Bristol City seem to have picked up a bit of form, so hopefully the results will go our way this weekend. Likewise with Norwich, they have two games coming up that will test them, home to Swansea and then Hull next week. Swansea and Hull have been upping their game recently, so I can’t see Norwich taking all the points from these two games. Fingers crossed though!
I’ll be back on the Kop this weekend for the early kick-off against Rotherham. We’ve more or less got a fully fit squad back together now, so hopefully we can kick on and keep the momentum going.
Olly Longden (RFA)
Sheffield United MOD/Armed Forces Supporters Branch