Sheffield United legend says Rhian Brewster should have taken penalty at Millwall

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Brian Deane, the Sheffield United legend, admitted he would have liked Rhian Brewster to take the Blades’ penalty against Millwall on Saturday, believing a potential first goal of the season would have “relaxed” the former Liverpool striker going forward.

United were already 2-0 ahead at Bramall Lane when Brewster, the Blades’ record signing, turned Jake Cooper and drew the foul inside the penalty area.

But Ollie Norwood, second in the Blades’ list of penalty takers behind skipper Billy Sharp, saw his effort well saved by Bartosz Białkowski and United had to settle for a 2-0 victory thanks to goals from Iliman Ndiaye and Sander Berge.

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After also seeing an effort saved in United’s penalty shootout defeat to Nottingham Forest in the play-off semi-final last season, Norwood’s place in the pecking order may be under threat from Berge, who was third choice.

But Deane, still a legendary figure at Bramall Lane after his three spells as a Blade, would have preferred Brewster stepped up.

“For me, I would’ve loved to have seen Rhian Brewster take the penalty and perhaps get on the scoresheet as well,” the former striker turned SUTV pundit said.

Rhian Brewster started for Sheffield United against Millwall: Simon Bellis / SportimageRhian Brewster started for Sheffield United against Millwall: Simon Bellis / Sportimage
Rhian Brewster started for Sheffield United against Millwall: Simon Bellis / Sportimage

“Because he worked it himself and did fantastically well, and it’s just getting rid of that little bit of pressure.

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“The quicker you can score at the beginning of the season, the more you can relax and think about the next opportunity without thinking that you’re under any pressure. From a forward’s point of view, that is marvellous.

“I know, from my point of view, that he’ll be sat at home and reflecting, thinking: ‘I should’ve taken that, because that would’ve been my opportunity.’

“He’s seen Iliman score and he’s thinking: ‘He’s the leading scorer now’. That’s how forwards think. But that competition is great, it’ll fire up everyone else.”

Norwood has long been United’s second-choice penalty taker if skipper Billy Sharp is not on the pitch, while Berge – who has taken one successfully in the Premier League away at Anfield – is third in line, although boss Paul Heckingbottom admits the Norwegian may now “stick his hand up” to move up the order.

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