Paul Heckingbottom applauds Sheffield United’s late show as they defeat Blackburn
Sheffield United boss Paul Heckingbottom felt that the stoppage-time goal from Ben Davies was a great way to beat Blackburn.
The Blades won 1-0 after having a player sent-off and seeing the opposition miss a penalty.
Billy Sharp wasted a great opportunity to put the hosts in front when he put a far-post header wide from a Sander Berge cross.
Blackburn’s Reda Khadra put a free-kick only just over.
John Fleck’s 20-yard effort was parried by Thomas Kaminski and Morgan Gibbs-White put the rebound straight at the keeper.
Charlie Goode was shown a straight red card after 66 minutes following a foul on Khadra.
Harry Pickering’s firm drive from the edge of the area was well saved by wes Foderingham to his left.
The visitors were then awarded a penalty after a cross from Khadra was handled by John Egan, but Khadra’s 72nd-minute spot-kick was saved by Foderingham.
The goal came following a corner when Jack Robinson headed the ball into the path of Davies who swept home from close range in time added on.
Heckingbottom said: “It’s the best way to win, for lots of reasons. Everyone will tell you who’s been involved in games like this.
“For me, it reinforces everything we’ve been trying to do. We’ve been trying to get this place bouncing. We’ve been trying to reignite that connection between the fans and the players.
“I think the ref helped us today. I think the sending-off helped us and the penalty save helped us.
“It was a red (card) – I’ve got no arguments with that. I think the ref got that right. It’s a penalty, definitely, as well – I can’t argue with that. But everything else he probably got wrong.
“Those decisions and Wes’ save meant that the fans became the 11th man in the end, which was really important. The one thing which is a given is that the players will work hard, and fans respond to that.”
Blackburn manager Tony Mowbray was disappointed his side did not take the three points.
He said: “I think over 90 minutes we did more than enough to win the game but that’s football – it’s cruel sometimes. You’ve got to give them a lot of credit for digging in and sticking at it. They got their rewards late on.
“I think this team is full of energy, legs, athleticism and ability. We’re just a team who graft and work hard, ask questions of the opposition.
“Did we give them enough problems? I think so. We have to find ways to win matches. Tonight we maybe should have won 1-0.
“They need telling how good they are and what a brilliant team ethic they’ve got. We have to stick together and keep going.
“They were playing in the Premier League last year and we’d got five kids from our academy starting and I thought they competed fantastically well. They should be proud of themselves.”
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