HAVING smartened up their act in front of goal, Sheffield United’s attention has now turned towards constructing a more robust defence.
The South Yorkshire club travel to Scunthorpe on Saturday emboldened by 5-3 victory over AFC Bournemouth but searching for only their second clean sheet of the new League One campaign.
Danny Wilson, the United manager, was apoplectic with rage after watching his side waste a hatful of chances at Colchester last month.
Despite United expressing delight at the firepower they subsequently unleashed upon the visitors from Dorset, footage of the efforts conceded against Paul Groves’ team will have made for uncomfortable viewing in the Shirecliffe bootroom.
“That’s what we’ll be working on this week,” Wilson said. “Making sure we can tighten up at the back.
“It’s not the back four I’m talking about. It’s about defending better as a team.
“We’ve done some things well and others not so well but you should always be striving to improve.”
United’s determination to play an expansive game means they will always be vulnerable to the counter-attack. Enduring some degree of porousness is part of the trade-off for playing passing football.
Rather it is the manner of the goals conceded, rather than the fact their rearguard has been breached which has angered coaching staff in recent weeks.
“Overall, I don’t think we’ve actually defended badly,” Wilson said. “Quite the opposite in fact.
“If you look back at the games we’ve played we haven’t given away too many chances. That’s been good to see.
“But some of the ones we have let in have been avoidable. Soft.
“It goes without saying we want that to stop.”
United head to Scunthorpe fifth in the League One table after mustering eight points from their opening four matches while their opponents are bottom.