Sheffield United centre-back Chris Basham has revealed an argument took place in his side’s dressing room immediately after their 1-1 draw against Nottingham Forest in midweek as he spoke to the Yorkshire Post, with several players furious they were unable to keep a clean sheet at the City Ground.
Morgan Gibbs-White’s 78th-minute looked to have won the game for the Blades on Tuesday night, in what would have been a much-needed victory against a very capable side after their disappointing 1-0 home loss to Blackpool last weekend.
However, Lewis Grabban’s equaliser just five minutes later consigned them to another winless game and after this concession, their defensive record has worsened as they have kept just three clean sheets in 16 league matches this term.
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The Blades have conceded in each of their seven league games, letting in a total of 11 goals during this run and making it extremely difficult for them to win games as they look to force their way into the promotion mix.
Despite only being six points away from the play-off zone, their inconsistency has been a major barrier to their progress this term and though their inability to take chances at times has been a cause of this, their defence also has to take a sizeable portion of the responsibility.
Their inability to keep clean sheets finally came to a head after full-time at the City Ground, with a row ensuing in the dressing room according to defender Basham, who was one key player who came out of midweek’s game with credit.
The 33-year-old opened up about this incident ahead of this afternoon’s game against Blackburn Rovers, saying to the Yorkshire Post: “There was not a scrap on, but a bit of an argument after in the dressing room just about not keeping a clean sheet.
“Robin Olsen probably had one thing to do all night and conceded and didn’t deserve that (concession) either.
“It was a positive (argument) and we are all striving for the same thing and wanting to perform and get points on the board because we all want to go in the right direction.
“When we got promoted, we kept 20 clean sheets, that’s what wins you games.”
This is the type of argument that can help to turn a season around, so it wouldn’t be a surprise to see them turn it around against Blackburn today, especially with the Lancashire outfit still reeling from the 7-0 home loss against Fulham in midweek.
It seems as though the Blades need something to kickstart their 2021/22 campaign, something their late-summer signings seemed to do after such a disappointing early-season period when they went winless in their opening five games.
But they have failed to build on their momentum from a reasonably successful September period and that argument on Tuesday may have just gone a long way in increasing their intensity and sharpening minds.
The only drawback of a win today is the fact they won’t be able to build on it until after the international interval, but it would still be a boost nonetheless and take them one step nearer to the top six.
Not only have they been inconsistent, but also many other teams in this division so if they can string a few wins together going into the festive period, there’s no reason why they can’t re-establish themselves as serious promotion contenders in the coming months.