Wigan boss heaps praise on Sheffield United trio as he highlights Blades’ strength

Wigan boss highlighted difficulty of playing against Blades stars McAtee, Ndiaye and Berge after Bramall Lane defeat
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Wigan boss Shaun Maloney heaped praise on three Sheffield United stars after his side’s defeat at Bramall Lane on Friday afternoon.

The Blades were good value for their 1-0 victory which sent them eight points clear of nearest challengers Luton Town in the race for the Premier League, ahead of Easter Monday’s trip to already-promoted Burnley.

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James McAtee and Iliman Ndiaye linked up superbly for what proved to be the winning goal, with Ndiaye denied what would have been a superb second by a goalline block after a mazy run saw him leave three Wigan players in his wake.

It was yet another demonstration of the Senegal star’s remarkable ability and application, leaving supporters salivating with one remarkable passage of play in particular as he kept the ball away from a number of opponents for what seemed like an age and nutmegged two before eventually being upended.

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Not many Championship defences will relish facing the pair on top form between now and the end of the season, before they even begin to consider the Blades’ many other attacking threats which have helped them to second place in the division.

“I’d have liked us to defend slightly better so we didn’t have as many counter-attacks, but Ndiaye and McAtee are two good footballers,” Maloney said. “How Ndiaye can receive the ball under pressure and beat a man and then another ... good players.

“I really like Berge in the middle of the pitch too, he’s a very good player. At times we stopped them, at times their talent took over and they created chances. But there were still some very good performances from us, against some good players. We went toe to toe and they were slightly better than us.”