Sheffield United: Slavisa Jokanovic shows his ruthless streak as he urges The Blades' squad to do the same
Slavisa Jokanovic admitted he wants Sheffield United to become even more ruthless, despite watching them score three goals during their win over Hull City.
Speaking after the match, which saw the visitors take their tally since the international break to 11, the Serb expressed disappointment his team had not inflicted even more punishment upon opponents who reduced the deficit during the closing stages when Keane Lewis-Potter was on target. It was the first time Grant McCann’s side had found the back of the net in 11 hours of Championship football.
Although he described United’s work over the past seven days as “satisfying” - they travelled to the MKM Stadium having beaten Peterborough 6-2 before drawing 2-2 with Preston North End - Jokanovic criticised his players for giving City a “glimmer of hope” following Lewis-Potter’s strike.
“I must be satisfied with three points,” he said. “I believe we played acceptable good football. If we score one time more it would have been a really good week for us.
“We created a lot of things. I was missing our killing spirit though. I didn’t want us to give the opposition spirit for a comeback.
“We did not have enough intention to score the fourth goal. If we want to fight for our target, the one we are fighting for, then we must grow up.”
Billy Sharp celebrated his 300th appearance for United by firing them in front before missing a penalty. John Egan’s second-half brace sealed the points but Jokanovic’s men survived a scare when Tyler Smith, playing against his former club, had an effort disallowed for offside following Keane-Potter’s finish.
“We are taking positive steps and are in the process,” Jokanovic continued. “We must follow the process but we must grow up more. I came here to win the game wanting to win because we are the better team and we want to mark our territory.”
United, who failed to win any of their first five Championship games under Jokanovic, climbed to 15th in the table following their victory in East Yorkshire. They return to league action against Derby County next weekend, after facing Southampton in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday night.
“We have a platform now,” Jokanovic said, signalling he will not allow his squad to rest on their laurels. “It is easier for our team to trust and be in the right direction. We must trust in our work.
“I repeat, we have had a good week and it is an acceptable good week. But there are a lot of hard and tough weeks ahead of us. We have done nothing right now. We must still make things better.”
Sander Berge is expected to miss the third round tie after complaining of discomfort in a hamstring during the warm-up at City. The Norway international was withdrawn from United’s squad as a result and has spent the past 24 hours being assessed by medical staff before a decision is taken on his involvement against County. However Berge’s fellow midfielder Adlene Guedioura could start after making his debut towards the end of Saturday’s contest.