‘Clear why we lost’ - Paul Heckingbottom’s verdict on Sheffield United’s West Ham defeat

Blades’ winless run goes on after 2-0 London Stadium defeat
Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

Paul Heckingbottom admitted it was “clear” why Sheffield United’s winless run went on this afternoon at West Ham United, as goals from Jarrod Bowen and Tomas Soucek kept them rooted to the bottom of the Premier League table.

The Blades showed more of a fighting spirit than last weekend’s 8-0 thrashing at the hands of Newcastle but still didn’t have enough quality to get anything from the London Stadium. The closest they came was a good chance that Oli McBurnie dragged wide, after Cameron Archer saw an effort well blocked from a good position.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“I look at the first half and you probably think we passed the ball okay but we were too loose in possession and the distances were far too big,” Heckingbottom said afterwards. “So when we attacked we didn’t have enough bodies around the ball and when we lost it we didn’t have enough to win it back high or lock out.

“We changed that in the second half, we were much more aggressive and we have to make sure we try and deliver that type of performance whether we’re home or away. It’s clear why we lost it - a defensive error for the first goal, loose in possession for the second - but the second half was much better.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“We try and pick attacking players and improve them defensively but we got done by the runner behind and lost the race. We know we’re going to lose the ball, Gus lost a few, Macca did... we were all loose far too often and could have had more control of the game. It’s about denying that space and it’s difficult against a team who are good defensively and are good on the counter, when you go 2-0 down.

“Results like last week can happen, we saw some today with heavy defeats and surprising ones. What I didn’t like was the nature in some of the things we saw and in the two years I’ve been here it’s the first time we saw them. I was adamant it was a one-off and I don’t want to see them again.”

Related topics:

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.