Sheffield United: Why Conor Hourihane was hauled off in the first half against Millwall

Conor Hourihane was substituted during the first-half of Sheffield United’s defeat by Millwall for tactical reasons, not because of injury, manager Slavisa Jokanovic confirmed.

Wednesday, 20th October 2021, 8:09 am

The Republic of Ireland international, one of two changes United had made to the starting eleven which had beaten Stoke City three days earlier, played only 38 minutes before being replaced by Iliman Ndiaye.

Jokanovic, who refused to hide his disappointment at United’s performance before the interval, told The Star: “Yes, it was simple - we didn’t have enough movement and we didn’t connect or find enough power. I took the decision to try and bring that.”

United had earlier fallen behind when Jed Wallace’s angled drive caught-out their goalkeeper Robin Olsen, before Billy Sharp levelled from the penalty spot following a foul on John Fleck.

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Sheffield, England, 19th October 2021. lliman Ndiaye of Sheffield Utd replaces Conor Hourihane of Sheffield Utd during the Sky Bet Championship match at Bramall Lane, Sheffield. Picture credit should read: Isaac Parkin / Sportimage

Morgan Gibbs-White, one of the most creative talents at Jokanovic’s disposal, was dismissed after receiving his second yellow card of the game - referee Matthew Donohue adjudging him to be guilty of simulation. But the official’s refusal to send-off Millwall’s George Saville when, having already been booked, he tripped John Fleck enraged the United bench. Jokanovic later admitted he “didn’t understand” Donohue’s “interpretation” or reading of the incident.

“We started the second-half better, the team was more organised and calm,” Jokanovic, who saw David McGoldrick fire over from two yards out, said. “We ran off the balls that we moved. We created chances after the player was sent-off and we weren’t clinical. We paid a price for that, a big price, definitely.”

Sheffield, England, 19th October 2021. Slavisa Jokanovic manager of Sheffield Utd during the Sky Bet Championship match at Bramall Lane, Sheffield. Picture credit should read: Isaac Parkin / Sportimage