Sheffield United: What manager Slavisa Jokanovic had to say about goalkeeper Robin Olsen's performance levels
Slavisa Jokanovic, the Sheffield United manager, has leapt to the defence of goalkeeper Robin Olsen who travels to Barnsley this weekend under increasing scrutiny following his error against Millwall.
The Swede was culpable for the first of two goals the south London club scored during Tuesday’s match at Bramall Lane, allowing Jed Wallace’s shot from near the byline to sail into his net.
Signed on loan from AS Roma to replace Aaron Ramsdale, the Swede has yet to replicate his form on the international stage into a series of consistent displays at Championship level since leaving the Italian capital.
Although Jokanovic admitted Olsen can do “better”, he refused to pin the blame for United’s defeat by Gary Rowett’s side - Jake Cooper cancelling out Billy Sharp’s equaliser in added time - on the 31-year-old as United’s attention turns towards this weekend’s South Yorkshire derby.
“Listen, normally I never hold one guy guilty for a goal,” Jokanovic said, confirming he believes in the concept of collective responsibility. “We can all do better, including myself. We need to find better levels.
“With confidence, we can be a better team than we are right now. Yes, I am confident we will see more from him. But I repeat one more time, all our work is done in front of thousands of people. This is normal in football and it means people constantly assess our work.”
United finished the latest round of the domestic fixture schedule in 17th place, six points behind the play-off positions and seven ahead of Barnsley who are 23rd. After reviewing United’s performances before they were relegated from the Premier League last term, it will not have escaped Jokanovic’s notice that Ramsdale also made a slow start to his second spell in South Yorkshire before eventually forcing his way into the England squad.
“He (Olsen) can be at a better level,” Jokanovic, who officially took charge of United in July, said. “But we can all be at a better level.
“That is for sure. The room always exists for everyone to improve, that is always there and present and is something we want to take advantage of.”