Millwall v Sheffield United: The lesson Blades boss hopes his side take from defeat at the Den

Paul Heckingbottom believes Sheffield United’s defeat at Millwall today will serve as a “reminder” to his players that they cannot afford to drop their standards if they are to win promotion to the Premier League this season.
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The Blades’ good recent run came to an end at The Den as Jake Cooper’s winner – the defender’s fifth goal in his last seven games against the Blades – sealed this contest, and the Lions’ fifth successive victory.

United couldn’t get going until the late introductions of Morgan Gibbs-White and Sander Berge from the bench, and Heckingbottom said: “We could have been better in the first half and been quicker and sharper.

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“We wanted more energy. We started the second half well but they had four or five set plays in a row which kills the momentum until they scored.

“They defended well and that’s when we started passing it quicker and slicker, but they defended their box well. When it was there for us to create, we didn’t.

“I still want to win these games [when United aren’t at their sparkling best]. That was the message there in the dressing room, the tone with the players was important.

“We need to use it as a reminder. If we look where we were and where we are now, everyone would have snapped your hands off and we understand what got us there.

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“Today is a reminder that you have to be at it every game in this league. We play good teams who cause their own problems. Today we came unstuck.”