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19 Aug 2022

Paul Heckingbottom pleased with all-round display as Sheff Utd down Millwall

Paul Heckingbottom pleased with all-round display as Sheff Utd down Millwall

Sheffield United manager Paul Heckingbottom was pleased with the way his side performed with and without the ball during their 2-0 victory against Millwall at Bramall Lane.

Goals from Iliman Ndiaye and Sander Berge before the break sealed a first win of the season for Heckingbottom’s men, who also missed a penalty in the first half.

Heckingbottom said: “Really pleased, obviously a win, a clean sheet. A good performance with and without the ball so yeah, really pleased with that.

“The start was good, but I think the bit that was really really pleasing was how we dealt with their threats.

“I expect us to perform well here and be the one forcing the issue. I know we are not going to win every game, but I expect us to put in a performance to reflect – that’s our intent.

“It’s a new season, we’re gonna be on the front foot and try and play that sort of way in every game. Sometimes it will work, sometimes it won’t but as long as it’s not from a lack of effort, then I’m fine with that.”

Heckingbottom was also delighted with the performance of Norway midfielder Berge, saying: “I love performances like that, it backs up what I say. At times today he was playing a different game, I thought he was good.”

United took the lead in the seventh minute when Wes Foderingham’s long ball was missed by two Millwall defenders, allowing sending Ndiaye to race through and slot home.

Berge doubled the lead in the 22nd minute following a counter-attack, the former Genk man picking up a pass from John Fleck before rounding Millwall goalkeeper Bartosz Bialkowski and netting .

The Blades were awarded a penalty in the 43rd minute when Rhian Brewster was brought down in the box by Jake Cooper but Oliver Norwood saw his spot-kick saved by Bialkowski.

Millwall manager Gary Rowett, whose side were looking to build on their 2-0 win over Stoke, said: “Yeah, disappointing. When you play so well against Stoke in the opening game at home, then come to Bramall Lane, what you can’t do then is make silly mistakes, you cant give gifts to a team like Sheffield United.

“I thought we actually started the game quite well, I thought we started quite brightly and then a big moment early on to go 1-0 down. I have watched the goal back lots of times and it was a clear foul on Jake Cooper.

“We should defend the first goal better, we should cover round, we shouldn’t allow the next runner to get in. But I was disappointed to be 1-0 down certainly, I thought it was a little unjust.

“The second goal is our own undoing; we don’t react particularly well, and we make a poor mistake. And then they should have had a third goal, just very very poor defending.”

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