'Confidence looks shot' - Former Sheffield United hero blames top end after another defeat for Blades
Sheffield United started the New Year as they finished the last … with another defeat, this time to Crystal Palace.
A goal from Jeffrey Schlupp in the fourth minute and another just before the break when Eberechi Eze was given the freedom of Selhurst Park flattened any hopes the Blades had of beginning 2021 on a high note.
It was a poor display by Chris Wilder’s side, with the two poor goals conceded going alongside a severe lack of creativity which saw United have seven shots on goal in the entire game, two of them on target and both of those coming in the very final stages.
Former Blades hero Michael Brown, who made 174 appearances in a United shirt, felt it was up front where the biggest problem lay, though he did have sympathy with the fact that his old side had nine players missing through injury, illness and suspension and were unable to fill the bench again.
“It's very difficult, you are trying to take some positives out of the result,” Brown said. “We keep talking about Sheffield United and where they need to be ... performances, only one goal in it, this time a little bit more.
"The confidence looks a little bit shot, I didn't think they created like they have and they didn't look as sharp.
"The squad obviously being depleted over the Christmas period is probably the worst time for them so we've got to understand that, but the shots on goal, only three, two right at the end of the game is what they'll be really disappointed with against a Palace side who haven't won in five games.
"It was there for them to be a little bit more proactive and unfortunately they haven't.”
United’s next challenge comes in the FA Cup against Bristol Rovers next week and Brown feels it’s an ideal opportunity for them to take a breather from the pressure of the top flight and a relegation battle.
Brown, working as a pundit on Sky Sports’ coverage of the match, added: “They need to take that rest away from the Premier League this week.
"I think this has been a long Christmas period for them and hopefully things can get better for them in the New Year.”