Luke Williams, Swindon Town’s head coach, admitted Sheffield United’s mental strength proved decisive when the two clubs met at Bramall Lane.
Williams, speaking after his team were beaten 4-0 by Chris Wilder’s side, described the squad assembled by the former Northampton Town chief as the most formidable he has encountered since first visiting South Yorkshire three years ago.
“I’ve been coming here for a while now and that’s the best I’ve seen United,” Williams said. “That’s their strongest group for me. They’ve got a lot of good players out there, a lot of experience and a lot of leaders. The psychological aspect is so important in this division, not least because of the amount of games, and that’s an area where they are very, very strong.”
Mark Duffy’s brace and further efforts from Paul Coutts and Caolan Lavery propelled United to second in the League One table, three points behind leaders Scunthorpe, ahead of Thursday’s visit to Coventry City.
Although Williams praised United’s character, he was less charitable about the personality demonstrated by his own players despite exempting goalkeeper Lawrence Vigouroux, Raphael Rossi-Branco and fellow defender Lloyd Jones from criticism.
“We started the game very brightly and then we just allowed Sheffield United to get on top of us and progressively, it became more and more easy for them to get around the box,” Williams said. “It’s very difficult to accept.”