Ben Osborn admits where Sheffield United need to improve in remaining games of season
Ben Osborn has urged his Sheffield United teammates to tighten up at both ends of the pitch after Monday night’s defeat at West Ham United dealt another severe blow to their hopes of pulling off an unlikely escape from relegation this season.
Osborn made his return to the Blades side in place of John Fleck, who was missing through illness, and was one of the few bright sparks on a generally disappointing night for United, who are now 14 points adrift of fourth-bottom Newcastle United with 14 games remaining.
They face relegation rivals Fulham, who climbed seven points ahead of Chris Wilder’s men after the weekend results, on Saturday, where more dropped points would hammer another nail into their coffin.
They will likely face Scott Parker’s side without another of their most influential players too, after John Egan was carried off the London Stadium pitch with his leg in a brace after a challenge with Jesse Lingard.
“We wanted to come here and win,” said Osborn.
“I don’t know if that’s being naïve, but that’s what we feel we can do when everyone’s at it. To concede the first one is a blow but the second one… you’ve got to get two to get anything from the game and it’s going to be difficult. We had a few chances but 3-0 flattered them a little bit.
“There were good bits of play and decent chances created but we need the whole package. Everyone firing and no silly mistakes, maybe being a bit more defensively solid, and maybe just a bit more creativity and patience in the final third to carve something open, because there weren’t too many shots on their goal.”
Osborn made his first appearance in over a month against West Ham, after a spell on the sidelines with a calf complaint.
“I was a bit tired in the last 10 but I felt good,” he said. “I was just happy to get on the pitch again. I wanted to do the best I could but it’s disappointing, the result that’s happened.”
Blades boss Chris Wilder said Egan would be assessed this week, adding it "didn't look good" as the defender was stretchered off.