Sheffield United boss optimistic about season hopes after “kick in teeth” against Man City

SHEFFIELD, ENGLAND - AUGUST 27: A vocal Paul Heckingbottom, Manager of Sheffield United, shouts instructions during the Premier League match between Sheffield United and Manchester City at Bramall Lane on August 27, 2023 in Sheffield, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

Paul Heckingbottom is confident that Sheffield United will have enough to survive in the Premier League this season after suffering a late “kick in the teeth” against Manchester City. Jayden Bogle’s 85th-minute strike looked to earn the Blades their first point of the season before Rodri netted the winner three minutes later.

Earlier Erling Haaland had put the treble-winners ahead - after missing a penalty and also having a goal ruled out for offside - while Nathan Ake saw an effort chalked off in the first half. Wes Foderingham in the United goal was also in inspired form as City finished the game having enjoyed 80 per cent of the ball and had 30 shots on the United goal.

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It was a third loss in three games since promotion back to the Premier League for Heckingbottom’s men, but there were yet more positive signs that the tide may soon turn. The Blades boss, who saw new signing Cameron Archer introduced to a sold-out home crowd before the game, said: “I’m pleased with the performance. You need a perfect performance to beat them because that wasn’t a below-par City.

“We got punished for two things we should do better. The sickener for me is the nature of how Rodri has lashed it in. It just comes after Phil Foden has mis-controlled the ball and just drops into his path.

“It’s a kick in the teeth after all the good play they had had and they way we had dealt with it. We’ve lost a point, but we’ll focus on the performance I think. Game on game we’ve got better and we certainly believe we’re going to have enough.”