Jack O’Connell has predicted Sheffield United will recover from their “cruel” defeat by Bolton Wanderers.
Chris Wilder’s team controlled long periods of last weekend’s League One opener at the Macron Stadium but were unable to translate possession into goals either side of Jay Spearing’s memorable first-half strike.
O’Connell, one of six debutants in United’s starting 11, admitted:“It’s never easy starting with a loss.
But he added: “It was clear we were the better team and created the better openings. Football is a cruel game but we have to make sure it’s not too cruel. We have to turn performances into wins, but I’m sure we’ll do that. They (Bolton) themselves will tell you we should have been 3-0 up at half-time.
O’Connell, a summer signing from Brentford, has forged an effective partnership with fellow centre-half James Wilson’s following the latter’s arrival from Oldham Athletic.
“It’s coming along nicely but all the lads back there have done well, to be fair,” O’Connell said. “Across the team, performance-wise, that was a bit of a benchmark and the good thing is we’ll only getter better. Of course, we have to combine those with results.”
“Bash (Chris Basham) and Flecky (John Fleck) will tell you the same in midfield. Bash runs all day and Flecky can pick the passes.”
United enjoyed a near-4,500 following in Lancashire and O’Connell said: “To bring so many to an away game is unreal. We’re just disappointed we couldn’t send them away with a win.”