"Deflating" - Chris Basham reveals where Sheffield United need to improve after defeat at Aston Villa
Chris Basham says Sheffield United fancied themselves to "keep a clean sheet and maybe nick a goal" against Aston Villa tonight, despite playing for almost 80 minutes with 10 men.
In the end, United couldn't hold out as Ezri Konsa's second-half header proved to be the winner. But United defended resolutely after John Egan was sent off after 12 minutes, and could have gone ahead themselves when Matt Targett brought down Basham in the Villa box and conceded a penalty.
But Emi Martinez kept out John Lundstram's spot kick, and United couldn't get themselves back in the game after Konsa rose highest to beat Aaron Ramsdale after a corner was flicked on.
"Egs' red card hurt us a lot, but we reacted well," Basham said.
"We play attack versus defence a lot in training, and we fancied ourselves to keep a clean sheet and maybe nick a goal.
"It was deflating to concede from a set-piece, and as the manager said after the game that's two in two games now.
"They were starting to scrap and kick balls out of play, so it was coming into our hands a little.
"The manager is disappointed with the goal. It's something to look at and we'll look to come back stronger against Leeds."
Villa boss Dean Smith had little doubt that Egan's red card was the right decision.
"Ollie made a good run to get the other side of John which resulted in the red card," he said.
"As soon as the ref blew up for the free-kick, I thought it'd be a red card."