Sheffield United: Live updates from Slavisa Jokanovic's pre-Middlesbrough press conference

Slavisa Jokanovic faced the media this afternoon to preview Sheffield United’s trip to Middlesbrough tomorrow evening.

Monday, 27th September 2021, 1:00 pm
Updated Monday, 27th September 2021, 2:33 pm
Slavisa Jokanovic, manager of Sheffield United: Simon Bellis / Sportimage

The Blades travel to the Riverside on the back of Saturday’s late victory over Derby County, courtesy of Billy Sharp’s penalty, while Boro lost 1-0 at Reading.

Boro boss Neil Warnock praised Jokanovic in his own pre-match press conference, saying: “I’ve always liked him.

“I call him Slav, me, because I can’t say his name. But he’s a good lad and I enjoy conversations with him after a game.

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“I’ve got a lot of time for him; he’s a very, very good manager. I thought he was an ideal appointment and I knew he’d turn it around.”

Here’s what Jokanovic and Ben Davies had to say ahead of the trip to Boro...

Boro v Blades LIVE

Last updated: Tuesday, 28 September, 2021, 22:21

We have to be careful with him, it’s a lot this league, but I think he enjoyed it. I thought it was a cracking game for the Championship. I didn’t think they created much but joe pulled off a world-class save from McGoldrick. I couldn’t have picked a man of the match tonight. I thought they were all fabulous.

Warnock on his side tonight

It didn’t take many decisions, I picked what I thought was the best side. We are really thin, but Sol epitomised it really. He was released at Cardiff and didn’t have anyone, he asked me for a favour, such an incredible pro. Talks all the time. He led us, and the lads responded.

Neil Warnock’s reaction...

That’s football for you isn’t it. I said before they went out, what a great night it was for a game of football. Go and enjoy it, and I think we played like that as well. We knew we’d have possession but we did well to limit them, they’re a good side. Another decisive pass here and there, we might have scored more. Two great goals.

SJ were better than us

We tried something similar to previous games but it wasn’t successful, we will look for the reasons but this is the Championship, no easy challenges exist and everything is complicated. We must focus 100 per cent on everything that will happen, we mustn’t be surprised what we found but we didn’t have enough energy. Boro were better than us at the end of the story.

They were strong and quick and winning a lot of second balls more than us, we have some plan to try and attack but it wasn’t successful, we didn’t run quick enough and find the spaces. We showed some improvement but not enough.

It’s not a question of confidence today, it was a hard, physical game and they beat us in that aspect. They scored two and could have scored more, we didn’t have enough knowledge. There was an improvement in the second 45 minutes but it wasn’t enough.

Slavisa Jokanovic’s post-match reaction...

We didn’t play a good game, especially our start was so slow. They won all the challenges, they had energy and power, and we weren’t comfortable. We played a lot of balls backwards and didn’t find the space to turn. We expected that situation but I thought we could find the spaces and try and be more dangerous. They were stronger than us and we found it difficult. We had some situations to come back in the game but it wasn’t enough and we couldn’t score the goal to come back.

Slavisa Jokanovic’s post-match reaction...

We didn’t play a good game, especially our start was so slow. They won all the challenges, they had energy and power, and we weren’t comfortable. We played a lot of balls backwards and didn’t find the space to turn. We expected that situation but I thought we could find the spaces and try and be more dangerous. They were stronger than us and we found it difficult. We had some situations to come back in the game but it wasn’t enough and we couldn’t score the goal to come back.

Player ratings from a disappointing night...

And that’s full time

A thoroughly disappointing evening at the Riverside for the Blades, who barely laid a glove on their hosts despite their possession and neat interplay in front of Boro’s defence - Sol Bamba was absolutely unbelievable tonight as he blocked, headed and kicked everything that United threw at him clear, and two neat finishes proved the difference between the sides. Stay tuned for post-match reaction from both camps...

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