They deservedly won. I thought they were crap but won more loose balls had 3 or 4 decent efforts and goal and scored a decent goal (abysmal defending). If they had won 2 o3 3-0 it would have been fair. We never looked like scoring save one chance for Sharp and created nothing all night. We hardly had any decent possession and tossed the ball away constantly. It was almost like we could not do thing as bad if we tried. Bad touches, passes straight to them, set plays straight to the first man, mis control, daft flicks. It was so bad it was untrue. They looked like they had been on the piss to be honest or all had flu. It was bizarre. We had no intensity whatsoever and looked like they were going through the motions. I have no idea what happened to the team I have seen most of this season; but that was an imposter of an SUFC side.
To be frank, that was the worst performance of the season by a mile and might even be the worst ever under Wilder (yes, we lost to Southend 3-0 but that was a freak 10-15-minute start to the game). Tonight, from start to finish other than maybe a 5-minute spell in the second half to start; we were absolutely appalling. Passing, skill, touch, control, effort, tackling, shooting, defending. Everything. We were hopeless. It looked like we had never played the game before! Outfield I am not sure any player can say they played anything like. Baldock maybe in spells, ditto for O’Connell and maybe Fleck but the rest of them. Pathetic throughout.
The thing that galled me most was not the poor touch (every one was a tackle) but the half hearted and half arsed effort and intensity. We jogged around and looked disinterested. A playoff place up for grabs and we play like it is a pre-season game. It was embarrassing. We did not lay a glove on them all game and lost every single 50-50. It started in midfield where Evans and Leonard looked really poor and looked lower league. Never kept the ball and lost any physical battles. The full backs did not get forward save from a few runs from Baldock. Up front Sharp and Clarke never won a ball all game. The changes did not work. We never looked like breaking Hull down and lacked belief completely.
Wilder’s interview at the end was really interesting and damning. He basically has said the players are not good enough to get in the top 6 and that they just are going to see things out now and that any of the other top teams would go there and win tonight. I am certain he has done that to get a reaction and there was some sarcasm in the ‘season is pretty much going to fade away’ type answer. Not sure he believes the top 6 have gone and we are going to just try and nick a few results but he was not happy and clearly told the players that. He looked and sounded absolutely furious and has kind of laid down the gauntlet to the players. It was really damning and it seemed like he was in the dressing room for over half an hour with them. They clearly had been given a right going off. I think he and us fans could cope with misplaced passes or mistakes but we got completely outworked and did not seem bothered. When we had a chance to get back up there against a poor side we served up absolute shambles.
We now have a make or break week. We need 4-6 points from Reading and Burton. Anything less and we will probably be 6 or 7 points off the playoffs and the season will probably peter out. Tonight was a golden chance. Adkins raved about Hull but they were not that good. We were just awful. We now have a tougher away game in my opinion next Tuesday and then a tricky game against another former Blades manager who will want to put one over us. The players have to prove to Wilder they are good enough. Over the season we have proven to be the 7th (might be down to 8th-10th tomorrow) best team and that is about where we are at the moment. I am not sure we are good enough to challenge the top 6 at the moment as we have too many up and down performances. Since Xmas, Bolton, Wednesday and tonight have been 3 games we have looked really poor and we seem incapable of going on a run of say 4 or 5 wins anymore. With the top 5 seeming quite well set; you figure there is only one place and with Brentford and Middlesbrough on decent form; you figure they have a better chance than us of catching Bristol City. Hope they prove me wrong but tonight showed maybe even the players do not quite believe.