SIX things we learned from Sheffield United's defeat at Millwall

Sheffield United suffered late heartbreak in the capital as Steve Morison's 89th-minute penalty condemned them to defeat at Millwall this afternoon.

Saturday, 20th August 2016, 7:10 pm
Updated Saturday, 20th August 2016, 8:19 pm
Mark Duffy

Here, our man Danny Hall offers six talking points from defeat at The Den.

Simon Moore - The new goalkeeper from Cardiff made his Blades debut here, and looked assured. The 26-year-old had no chance with Millwall's opening goal and dived the wrong way for Morison's penalty, but he pulled off two top saves to even keep United in with a chance of taking what would be a deserved point. His handling and communication was spot-on and, on this showing at least, looks a decent acquisition.

United aren't a million miles off where they need to be. True, a quick canvas of opinion on the terraces might suggest the club is doomed but they're not. United are very close to being a good team, rather than needing major surgery. There is room for improvement, of course, but when United do get up and running they could take some stopping.

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Chris Wilder isn't pulling any punches. "One point from 12 is not good enough for this club," he said post-match. No taking the positives from every game here and sugar coating it, as we've seen in previous regimes. He understands the buck stops with him and has no issues with his side's spirit or character.

He also isn't afraid to make the big decisions. John Brayford left yesterday, George Long was left at home to get his head right after Moore's signing and skipper Billy Sharp was taken off here. It hasn't been the start he would have wanted after taking over his boyhood club, but no-one can suggest he isn't doing things his own way.

Can Leon Clarke and Sharp play together? It's been a quiet start to the season for United's two main strikers, with one each, and their partnership is still very much in its infancy. It will come, of course - nothing and nobody should be written off after just five games of a season - but for now, Wilder may be considering freshening it up for their next assignment against Oxford.

Matt Done went upfront after replacing Sharp and Marc McNulty, who was thrown on in haste after Millwall's winner, must surely be considered for a starting berth at some stage.

The returning boys made strong cases. Kieron Freeman and Paul Coutts were both put on the transfer list soon after Wilder's arrival but through a combination of injury and departures, found themselves in the team against Millwall. Freeman did well, defensively and offensively, and Coutts was my man of the match in the first half before fading in the second.

Coutts is a source of great frustration for many at Bramall Lane - his ability is not in question, but there are doubts over his attitude - but he has showed what an asset he can be over the last game and a half. He kept United ticking, always wanted the ball and showed an energy which was lacking in his game last season. Maybe the penny has finally dropped?