Looking back at United’s home performances this season, it’s hard to identify a convincing one.
You never know how to judge the opening game of the season but history has showed us it wasn’t a surprise result.
Barely deserved wins over Crawley and Rochdale followed, before late drama brought a point against Orient. Then came a decent one as United battered Gillingham but still needed late goals to win it.
Yeovil was comfortable, then United were unlucky to lose to Barnsley and MK Dons. They particularly deserved to win the latter, but couldn’t score. Around these were three draws against Oldham, Notts County and Walsall. United were worryingly outplayed for spells in all of them.
A rare good display beat Preston, but United were clinging on at the end, then should have lost to Swindon but did them with two goals on the break.
The scoreline against Colchester was flattering, the performances against Coventry, Peterborough and Fleetwood got steadily worse.
Even the cup games against Mansfield and Plymouth were in the balance for a long time, and the Preston replay was lamentable.
Only against Southampton and Spurs were United really up for it.
Cloughie has grappled with this problem all season but hasn’t been able to get to the bottom of it, despite bringing in a lot of new players. Those players have the talent; they’re just not showing it enough.
With five home matches and two away in March, Blades fans were looking forward to at least having a play-off place secured well before the end of the season, but at this rate United will be hard-pressed to hang on. Better results have come away recently. They will have to continue at Scunthorpe and Walsall to keep the rest at bay.