Building from the back is secret to Blades’ success

Steve Simonsen
Steve Simonsen
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Clean sheets are hard to come by at any level so hats off to Sheffield United trio Steve Simonsen, Marcus Williams and Neill Collins for making up the bulk of our back five today.

Simonsen has been the subject of some criticism in recent weeks, but on Saturday he was faultless to help United to a comfortable 3-0 win over Colchester.

In front of him Collins continued to marshal the back line in impressive fashion and left back Marcus Williams, on loan from Championship club Reading, made it back-to-back good starts as a United player.

Making up the defence is Barnsley fans’ favourite Bobby Hassell who helped his team carry on their recent unbeaten run by being solid in the home team’s backline against Watford at Oakwell.

And Simon Ford was the pick of the Chesterfield stoppers as the Spireites won for the third straight match with a 4-1 victory over Carlisle.

Into the engine room and James Coppinger is Doncaster Rovers’ lone representative as his team’s struggles show no sign of ending. Coppinger looked good despite a defeat against Reading.

James O’Connor was outstanding for the Owls in their first road win of the season at Yeovil. And Michael Doyle was influential for the Blades at Bramall Lane to complete a gritty, talented trio of midfielders.

At the business end of the team Lewis Grabban snatched two of Rotherham United’s goals at Torquay but it wasn’t enough for a Millers win.

Gary Madine’s back post header was the difference for the Owls in Somerset to make it seven for the season.

Leon Clarke’s hat-trick for the Spireites showed he was worth the gamble by John Sheridan to make it five goals in three matches.

Chosen Ones

Steve Simonsen (Blades)

Bobby Hassell (Reds)

Marcus Williams (Blades)

Simon Ford (Spireites)

Neill Collins (Blades)

James O’Connor (Owls)

James Coppinger (Rovers)

Michael Doyle (Blades)

Lewis Grabban (Millers)

Gary Madine (Owls)

Leon Clarke (Spireites)