Slavisa Jokanovic bemoans Sheffield United's slow start in Millwall defeat

Slavisa Jokanović admits his Sheffield United side suffered a “hard defeat” at home to Millwall tonight, after a combination of profligacy and baffling refereeing decisions helped the visitors return to London with all three points.

Tuesday, 19th October 2021, 10:50 pm

The Blades hit back from Jed Wallace’s early opener to level before the break, Billy Sharp equalising from the spot after John Fleck was fouled by Scott Malone.

But after referee Matthew Donohue produced a second yellow card for Morgan Gibbs-White after deciding that the Wolves loanee had dived to win a penalty – his earlier booking, for a foul on Jake Cooper, was more clear-cut – the official failed to do likewise to Millwall’s George Saville, after he fouled Fleck in the middle after already being booked.

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Donohue infuriated the Lane crowd with some of his other decisions, but Jokanović was also left to bemoan his side’s slow start as they lost yet more ground on the promotion places in the Championship thanks to Cooper’s injury-time winner from around 25 yards.

“It’s definitely a hard defeat for us,” he admitted. “Our expectation for this game was completely different.

“We didn’t start the game well, they won some physical battles and started the game better. We mussed the energy and desire and power in the first half.

“We changed the shape and had good chances.

Morgan Gibbs-White of Sheffield United walks past manager Slavisa Jokanovic after being sent off during the Sky Bet Championship match between Sheffield United and Millwall (Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

“The team was organised, we didn’t have a lot of problems and created a few chances. They created one chance and scored from outside the box, Cooper scored with one good shot. We need to try and stop this kind of situation. We didn’t defend it well enough and it was expensive.”