Sheffield United: Quality of Blades star Oli Norwood is no surprise to Bramall Lane teammate Mark Duffy

They counted for nothing in terms of the overall result, but Oliver Norwood's passing statistics from Friday's Steel City Derby highlighted both the overall theme of the match against Wednesday and his importance to the Sheffield United cause.  

Passes completed: Norwood, 110. Wednesday's entire side, 136.

The Northern Ireland international has undoubted quality and his arrival in the summer has surely contributed towards United's lofty standing in the Championship.

One man that isn't surprised, though, is teammate Mark Duffy.

"I played with Oli before," said Duffy, who had a spell alongside Norwood at Scunthorpe in 2011 under current United No.2 Alan Knill, "and he loves getting on the ball and dictating play.

"He drops deep and can spray passes 60 or 70 yards, and make it look easy. He's fitted in perfectly here since he arrived, and has done fantastically well.

Oliver Norwood of Sheffield United gestures to Barry Bannan of Sheffield Wednesday after he threw the ball away to waste time: James Wilson/Sportimage

Oliver Norwood of Sheffield United gestures to Barry Bannan of Sheffield Wednesday after he threw the ball away to waste time: James Wilson/Sportimage

"Most of our team has experience of playing lower down the divisions, and a lot have had to tough it out playing in League One or Two.

"Oli has that experience as well, and it stands us in good stead. It makes us appreciate where we're playing now, and gives us a hunger inside.

"We're playing a lot of really big teams in this division, so we really relish the tests and want to pit our wits against the best players in this league."

Duffy was voted the sponsors' man of the match after an impressive return to the United fold for the 130th local derby against Wednesday. 

He won an early penalty, which saw Cameron Dawson save excellently from David McGoldrick, and later had a curling shot deflected wide by Michael Hector after skipping inside the Owls defenders camped on the edge of their own box.

Although they were frustrated for the second time in two years when welcoming their most bitter rivals to Bramall Lane, the 0-0 draw was nevertheless a victory of sorts for Chris Wilder and his players as Wednesday celebrated a hard-earned point at the end of the game, after being dominated throughout.

"We can hold our heads high," Duffy added.

"Wednesday have some really good individual players; everyone knows that, even if it's not quite clicking for them as a team at the minute. They came to do a job and had 25 per cent of the ball, but it could have been two, three or four if we score that penalty early on.

"Now, we've got to go back to the drawing board and see where it takes us. But one thing's for sure... I'd much rather be in our changing room than theirs."