SHEFFIELD UNITED: Heartbreak must spur United on

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SHEFFIELD United must use the pain of their heart-breaking League One play-off final defeat as motivation for next season’s competition, according to former midfielder Johannes Ertl.

Austrian international Ertl watched on from the stands at Wembley as the Blades lost 8-7 on penalties to Huddersfield Town, with departed goalkeeper Steve Simonsen missing the decisive penalty kick.

Ertl, who was axed by manager Danny Wilson following United’s failure to gain promotion to the Championship, said: “The mood in the dressing room after the final was horrible. It was such a cruel way to miss out. The most important thing is that if you get knocks it makes you stronger. Disappointments make you a man and more determined to achieve your goals.

“You don’t want to ever lose, especially in the fashion that United did. But there is no time for them to drop their heads. They have to re-group and keep on going.”

Primarily a central midfielder who can operate at centre-back, Ertl, aged 29, added: “I hope the club are challenging for promotion next year.

“I had a great time at United and the supporters were brilliant.”