Sheffield United manager Nigel Adkins refused to pull any punches after accusing his players of throwing away two precious League One points at Boundary Park.
The visitors, who return to action when Fleetwood Town visit Bramall Lane tomorrow, were held to a 1-1 draw by Oldham Athletic despite playing much of the second-half against 10 men following Jonathan Burn’s sending-off.
Although United remain sixth in the table - four points behind second-placed Walsall - Adkins lamented their failure to exploit the defender’s dismissal, saying: “It’s all about winning games of football. That’s what I want us to do and, out there, we had more than enough opportunities to do it.
“If we had got all three points then maybe we would be having a different conversation. We got a point away from home and it’s better than losing but, and I reitterate this, we came here to win.
“There’s a lot of disappointed men in that dressing room but there’s also a lot of disappointed men out here talking to you too. It’s a simple game; work harder than the opposition, stick the ball in at one end and keep it out at the other.”
Adkins, who watched Billy Sharp, Stefan Scougall and Neill Collins miss opportunities after Matt Done had scored for the third time in four games, also criticised the defensive lapse which allowed Danny Philliskirk to hand Oldham the lead.
“We’ve been drumming it into the players all week about the importance of keeping clean sheets,” Adkins said. “Do your job, mark your man and if he doesn’t score then they don’t score. Do that and it changes the complexion of the game and the mood.”
“We gave a goal away from an individual mistake,” Adkins added. “You’ve got to do your job and mark your man? To begin with, did we win our one on one duels enough? No. In the second-half, though, we created more than enough opportunities. Look at the one Billy missed and Scouggs too, you’ve got to score them. Those were just two examples. We’ve got good forward players who were presented with lots of chances but it’s a team game and we have got players who ultimately we trust.
“We got good players into good positions and would have expected to score more. We had half an hour against 10 men so we should have gone on to win.”