Manager Nigel Adkins is determined not to let Sheffield United’s season fizzle out after Tuesday evening’s disappointing, and potentially damaging, defeat at home to Burton Albion.
Below-par United slipped to 12th in the League One table, four points behind sixth-placed Coventry, after Lukas Akins’ cool finish saw table-topping Albion leave South Yorkshire with all three points.
Brewers boss Nigel Clough, returning to Bramall Lane for the first time since being sacked in the close season, received a warm welcome from the home fans - which was reciprocated - but the mood was somewhat darker come the final whistle, as United’s promotion push continues to falter.
Adkins’ side travel to Fleetwood this weekend, and the Blades boss is refusing to write off this campaign just yet.
“The goal is to get promoted now. We are trying to build something as well but we don’t want this season just to filter out,” he said.
“It was a bad result and a bad performance [against Burton]. If we’d have scored in the first couple of minutes, it could have been different. But we didn’t and it was a poor result.
“We endeavored to get ourselves forward thinking. Maybe we started okay-ish but after that was disappointing. Annoying if you want the truth.
“We wanted to get forward and win. We tried to affect the game. But the goal we gave away was shocking.”
United gave a debut to loan signing Alex Baptiste, signed from Middlesbrough, on Tuesday and Adkins hopes he isn’t the last arrival of the emergency loan window.
“There are a few more weeks left,” he said.
“Alex coming in is a positive. He can play in several positions and he was moving well. It’s his first taste of the surroundings and the first time he’s met the players.”
Ben Whiteman also made his United debut off the bench.