Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder hailed a resilient display from his side after they ground out a 1-0 Sky Bet Championship win at promotion rivals West Brom.
On-loan Everton midfielder Kieran Dowell’s first goal for United in the 14th minute secured the win at The Hawthorns.
The three points keep Wilder’s side two points behind pacesetters Norwich and ahead of Leeds on goal difference – after both won earlier in the day.
Wilder, whose in-form team have now lost only once in their last 12 league games, said: “We looked to get after the opposition. The positives were the way we stopped good players playing.
“We tried to stop them lifting their heads because they’ve got good players.
“I didn’t think after we broke it up we controlled the game as much as we should have done.
“If it had been roles reversed and we were chasing and West Brom had those opportunities to break they would have hurt us more.
“We’re delighted we’ve won a tight game. It was not our best with the ball but (we were) at our very best without it.
“We needed to be a little bit more tidy in possession and we could have hurt West Brom a little bit more than we did.
“If you keep giving the ball to good players then it allows them to get in a rhythm.
“We stuck in there and there were a couple of big moments. Kieran’s goal and Dean Henderson’s save (in stoppage time from Jefferson Montero) has won us a valuable three points.
“We kept our shape, there’s a few tired legs out there, we’ve got a couple of injuries, and the players who came in did well.
“Our season is not done and dusted because we’ve won here and it wouldn’t be if we’d lost.
“There are 12 games to go, a lot of teams have got to play each other and it’s all got something riding on it.”
West Brom boss Darren Moore was pleased with the effort his side put in but felt the relentless pace of life in the Championship caught up with them against the Blades.
Moore said: “I said to the lads that I had no complaints at all because they gave everything. I just think that maybe it was a game too far.
“I know us and we were just a little bit short in terms of getting that final push towards the end.
“We got in some really good, threatening positions but we just couldn’t get that elusive touch to get back into the game.
“We were just lacking that bit of extra spark really, which was needed in a game like this.
“It was a tight game. United got the goal and I was very impressed with how they defended. They were resolute and stuck to their task.
“But credit to the boys, they couldn’t have given anymore and while they give that I can have no complaints and we move on.”
Albion have now failed to win any of their last five home games and Moore added: “I put that down to teams coming here and putting men behind the ball and not wanting to play open football.
“That is the way it is. So at the moment our results have been coming on the road.
“But we want our home fans to see us win and we will look at that.”
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