Sheffield United: Patience is wearing thin behind the scenes with under-performing players

Sheffield United’s players have been told to stop presenting opponents with “gifts” as Slavisa Jokanovic’s patience begins wearing thin.

Wednesday, 10th November 2021, 5:00 am

The Serb, who began work at the club in July following its relegation from the Premier League, is growing tired of seeing his team offer their Championship rivals a helping hand in recent weeks.

After admitting United need to “grow up” - and fast - following Saturday’s woeful display at Blackburn Rovers, Jokanovic conceded they are in danger of becoming their own worst enemies having also recently thrown away points against the likes of Nottingham Forest and Millwall.

United entered the international break 18th in the table following their collapse at Ewood Park, where they conceded three times without reply despite seeing Rhian Brewster fire them into an early lead.

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Sheffield United manager Slavisa Jokanovic has been shocked by some of the mistakes his players have been making: Simon Bellis / Sportimage

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Jokanovic said: “We made one unenforced mistake. Then we made another unenforced mistake. And then another afterwards. It just kept on happening.

“We paid an expensive price for that, as you would usually expect. That was a huge performance for us.”

Sheffield United's performance at Blackburn Rovers plunged new depths, even for a team which has appeared short on character in recent weeks: Simon Bellis / Sportimage

Gargantuan in the sense it raised serious questions about both their ability to force themselves into play-off contention and also character, Jokanovic will now spend the next 10 days considering whether to persevere with the same malfunctioning side or make a number of changes for the meeting with Coventry City later this month.

Although injuries and United’s failure to deliver all of the targets he had identified during the summer transfer window have limited his room for manoeuvre, Jokanovic has made a number of references to careless play of late - suggesting he believes those under his command must take greater responsibility for their performances on an individual and collective level.

“It can not keep being like that,” Jokanovic said. “We can not keep making mistakes when they are not being forced by our opponents. Because then that ends up being a gift. They must work. It was one mistake, unenforced. And then another mistake, unenforced. Like I say, it has to stop and it’s can’t continue. It is a situation we must address and will be working hard to do that.”