PA Sport

Chris Wilder delighted with Blades despite Owls holding on for point

Chris Wilder delighted with Blades despite Owls holding on for point
By PA Sport

09/11/2018 at 21:42Updated 09/11/2018 at 22:45

Sheffield derby was one-way traffic.

Chris Wilder insisted he was delighted with Sheffield United’s performance despite being held to a goalless draw by Sheffield Wednesday in the Steel City derby.

The Blades were denied the chance to go top of the Sky Bet Championship despite dominating possession throughout at a rain-soaked Bramall Lane as the visitors primarily operated with 11 men behind the ball – offering little going forward as a result.

The hosts’ best opportunity came and went after 14 minutes when David McGoldrick’s tame penalty was saved by Cameron Dawson after Morgan Fox had fouled Mark Duffy in the box.

However, Wilder was eager to focus on the positives despite his side failing to turn their dominance into victory.

“I’m delighted in the way we played,” he said. “It shows how far we’ve come.

“They’ve resorted to hitting it anywhere – big hitters, big-time players, big wages.

“We dominated the game. I’m not down -people might have thought I would be.

“I asked for a performance and I got one, we just didn’t get the last little bit. I think if we score the penalty they might show a little bit of ambition and come out to play.

“(We) totally dominated tonight and I’m happy with the path that we’re going on.”

The home side were awarded a 14th-minute penalty when McGoldrick slipped in Duffy on the right-hand side of the area and the winger was clumsily brought down by Fox.

However, McGoldrick fired a tame spot-kick low to Dawson’s left and the keeper palmed the ball away.

John Fleck fired wide from distance and Enda Stevens saw an effort blocked as United continued to ramp up the pressure, before Ollie Norwood curled over from the edge of the box.

Duffy’s curling effort on the half hour was headed behind by Michael Hector, and the one-way traffic continued as Stevens’ low cross was desperately cleared behind by Tom Lees.

The Blades continued to dominate possession after the break, but despite the contest resembling an attack against defence training exercise for long spells, they struggled to carve out a clear opening.

Duffy chipped a weak shot straight at Dawson six minutes from time as the hosts became increasingly frustrated before Billy Sharp headed a glorious chance wide in stoppage time.

Under-pressure Wednesday manager Jos Luhukay felt his side deserved a point for their resilience as they ended a run of four straight defeats.

“You’re always happy when you’re not losing games,” he said. “I think for us the draw was very important.

“For the first time a clean sheet and Sheffield United were strong.

“We know we can play better football but we are happy with the positive reaction after the last few weeks and this is the first step.”