Chris Wilder branded Sheffield United’s performance as “unacceptable” during last night’s home defeat by Southend.
The visitors, previously without a win all season, found themselves 3-0 up inside the opening 15 minutes after Jack O’Connell’s own goal and strikes from Stephen McLaughlin and Simon Cox eased the pressure on manager Phil Brown.
Although Wilder expressed concerns about the officiating - “The second was clearly offside” - he told The Star United could not hide from the fact they had been the architects of their own downfall.
“This is when you find out about the character of people,” Wilder said.
“Absolutely 100 per cent. We’ve sat in the changing room and we’re not pulling any punches. They’ve let themselves down. The goals we conceded were ridiculous. The opposition have been given the goals and there’s no hiding place.”
Acknowledging a goalless second-half had effectively been a damage limitation exercise, Wilder added: “There can be no hiding place. I don’t go along with the fact we showed a little bit of a reaction.
“The game is done and dusted and that’s that. Tonight was totally unacceptable. It’s been a ridiculously long night for ourselves and the supporters because they don’t deserve that. We have to take it on the chin and people have to show what they are about.”
Despite recruiting eight new players following Wilder’s appointment earlier this summer, United have now taken only a point from their first three matches of the new League One campaign.
Despite once again naming an unchanged starting eleven, Wilder indicated he is preparing to wield the axe ahead of Saturday’s trip to Millwall.
“We’ve got some good players,” he said. “I’ve brought those players in. There’ll be a lot of talking and we’re finding out about the players all the time because for us to go from how we played against Bolton (on the opening weekend of the season) to that is not good. To go 3-0 down at home gives you a mountain to climb. The opposition have been given the goals.”
“I’ve got to say, I thought the officiating was poor,” Wilder added. “The second goal was clearly offside and possibly the other one too. You could see by the cut of the grass and the assistant is stood right in front of it. But that’s the last I want to say about that, seriously, because we more than played our part during the build-up to them as well.”