Revealed: The thinking behind the substitutions responsible for helping Sheffield United stun Stoke City

Sheffield United manager Slavisa Jokanovic provided supporters with an insight into the thinking behind his substitutions during the win over Stoke City, which saw Lys Mousset and David McGoldrick both write their names on the scoresheet after being summoned from the bench.

Sunday, 17th October 2021, 1:46 pm

Although the changes proved decisive, with Conor Hourihane also being introduced after Jacob Brown had given the visitors the lead, Jokanovic dismissed suggestions the interventions both he and his assistant Chema Sanz were responsible for altering the course of the contest - insisting “the guys” should take all the credit for implementing their instructions.

Although Hourihane was not directly involved in either of United’s goals, Jokanovic explained the Irishman’s entrance was designed to help forwards such as Mousset and McGoldrick establish a foothold in the game after he detected their midfielders were tiring.

“We tried to be calmer and find more energy,” the Serb said. “In the middle, we were a little bit without energy and power as the game went on. So we tried to help that, although the others had done a good job.”

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Jokanovic and Sanz spent long periods of the second-half deep in conversation on the touchline after Brown had pounced. Michael O’Neill, the City manager, later praised his opposite number’s reading of the match but Jokanovic said: “McGoldrick and Lys, they made good work and they scored too.

“On this occasion, the subs were successful and they participated in the victory. But it was down to the people on the field, because they are the ones who made the difference by doing what they did.”

Sheffield, England, 16th October 2021. Conor Hourihane of Sheffield United waits to come on: Simon Bellis / Sportimage
Sheffield, England, 16th October 2021. Slavisa Jokanovic reacts to a chance: Simon Bellis / Sportimage