Dream start for new Sheffield United coaches as U23s hammer Queens Park Rangers 4-0

Darren Currie with his uncle Tony at Bramall Lane: Simon Bellis/SportimageDarren Currie with his uncle Tony at Bramall Lane: Simon Bellis/Sportimage
Darren Currie with his uncle Tony at Bramall Lane: Simon Bellis/Sportimage
New coaches Graham Coughlan and Darren Currie enjoyed a dream start to life at Sheffield United after the Blades’ U23s hammered Queens Park Rangers 4-0 at Bramall Lane.

With U23 boss Paul Heckingbottom stepping up to take temporary charge of the first team after Chris Wilder’s departure, Currie and Coughlan were brought in ahead of the game.

Currie is the nephew of Blades legend Tony, while Coughlan played over 450 professional games for clubs including Sheffield Wednesday, Plymouth and Rotherham United before turning his hand to coaching and management.

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United, who had risen to the top of their league table under Heckingbottom after suffering only one defeat in their last 10 games ahead of kick-off, began brightly in the Bramall Lane sunshine and Mousset blazed a shot over in the sixth minute, before Marcus Dewhurst – on loan at Carlisle – had his first action of the game soon after when he caught a tame header.

Zak Brunt had appeals for a penalty turned down when his well-struck shot was blocked by the hand of a QPR defender after Mousset and Iliman Ndiaye linked up, and Ndiaye then had the best chance of the opening exchanges when his shot was saved after another good move involving his strike partner Mousset and right wing-back Femi Seriki.

Those two then combined again down the right-hand side to create the opening goal, as Andre Brooks burst into the penalty area to ride a tackle and finish into the bottom corner before celebrating his second goal in as many games with an eye-catching somersault.

Mousset then caused United something of an injury scare when he reported some discomfort after chasing a ball down the left, but he recovered enough to resume and then missed three gilt-edged chances before the break. The first saw him played through on goal but a poor touch saw the QPR ‘keeper save well; then the Frenchman headed home when well placed, and then he touched wide from Seriki’s excellent cross from the right.

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The second goal United were threatening eventually arrived thanks to the left foot of Zak Brunt, who latched onto Ndiaye’s pass and fashioned himself a shooting opportunity and found the far corner in the dying stages of the first half.

The excellent Seriki continued to cause problems in the second, with a low cross across the face of goal after another driving run down the right begging to be converted, and Ndiaye made it three before the hour mark when he stabbed home at the back post.

Nickseon Gomis made it four, the defender with a striker’s finish as he swivelled and diverted the bouncing ball into the far corner while QPR looked forlornly for an offside flag that would never come.

Mousset and Ndiaye, who made his senior debut for United recently at Leicester City, were withdrawn with 15 minutes to go as United closed out a comfortable victory over their visitors from London.

Blades: Dewhurst, Seriki, Gordon, Graham, Gomis, Boyes, Brunt, Neal, Brooks (Maguire, 83), Mousset (Gaxha, 75), Ndiaye (Jebbison, 75). Not used: Amissah, Grant.

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