Sheffield United: Fans are told they have a right to criticise as the case for a major overhaul becomes compelling

Slavisa Jokanovic admitted he understands why Sheffield United supporters registered their displeasure with his team’s performance midway through Saturday’s goalless draw with Coventry City.

Sunday, 21st November 2021, 12:01 pm

The half-time interval was greeted with boos from sections of the home crowd and although United improved after the break, the sight of them failing to convert any of the chances they created added further weight to the argument that a major refit is required over the next two transfer windows.

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Despite reminding that the end of season play-offs remain an achievable target, even though United enter Tuesday night’s game at Reading nine points behind sixth place, Jokanovic said: “If people are not satisfied with this and the result, it brings a nervousness, yes. But if people are not satisfied, then we must take the responsibility to do something different and better.

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“They pay their money to see Sheffield United play a good game. This is normal in stadia around the world. But from another side, I must motivate my players.”

Although there appears little doubt that United’s squad has gone stale since being relegated from the Premier League last term, events over the summer, when Jokanovic’s recruitment was limited to loan and free signings, suggest the board are either unable or unwilling to provide him with the financial resources required to make wholesale personnel changes.

Sheffield United CEO Stephen Bettis, director Abdullah bin Yousef Alghamdi and acting chairman Yusuf Giansiracusa during the Sky Bet Championship match against Coventry City: Simon Bellis / Sportimage

That could mean the Serb, who saw goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale join Arsenal at the beginning of the campaign, is forced to trade in order to make the changes required to implement the methods which delivered promotions at both Watford and Fulham.

“At the beginning,” he acknowledged, “We looked flat and nervous.”

Sheffield United fans turned out in the numbers again at the weekend: Simon Bellis / Sportimage