Blades boss Chris Wilder hits out at ‘hostile’ derby atmosphere
O’Connell appeared to be hit by objects thrown from a section of the home crowd as he went to take a throw-in during the early stages at Hillsborough.
The incident marred a game of few chances, with Wednesday’s Sam Hutchinson shooting straight at Dean Henderson midway through the second half from the contest’s clearest opening.
The result maintains both sides unbeaten Sky Bet Championship runs, although the Blades failed to return to the automatic promotion spots after wins for Norwich and Leeds on Saturday.
“There were some coins – it’s gone quite hostile,” Wilder said when asked about the incident involving O’Connell.
“It’s always been boys and rough and tumble, but, when I was player, you knew Sheffield Wednesday players and you used to go out and have a beer.
“It’s gone pretty hostile now and I don’t think anybody wants to see that. I’m disappointed it’s gone that way and you can’t really do a lot about it.”
The visitors carved out the only meaningful chance of a drab first half when Oliver Norwood’s cross found Gary Madine at the back post, only for Keiren Westwood to deny the former Wednesday striker with a smart save.
Madine felt he should have had a penalty after tangling with Michael Hector at a corner after 15 minutes, but both teams lacked quality in the final third as the contest became increasingly scrappy.
Rolando Aarons went close for the hosts after the break and his excellent cross in the 65th minute was met by an unmarked Hutchinson eight yards out, but the midfielder failed to convert.
“I didn’t think either side deserved to win it,” Wilder added.
“I didn’t think either side played with enough quality, it was a real bitty game.
“That referee is going to have lockjaw the amount he stuck his whistle in his mouth and rightly so.
“It was always going to be a hugely difficult game tonight.
“It’s a huge game for everybody concerned and we were never going to just roll in and win the game.”
Wednesday manager Steve Bruce said the club would deal with any supporters found to have thrown items on to the pitch.
“I really can’t comment because I didn’t see it,” he said.
“On the whole the two bunches of supporters were absolutely excellent. If that is the case and somebody threw a coin then unfortunately it’s the society we live in today and we’ll find them and we’ll deal with it.”
On his side’s performance, Bruce added: “We all enjoy the spectacle of a derby game and arguably they’re not great games are they. They’re great to watch because of the intensity and this is why we enjoy them, the sheer intensity of it.
“Both teams went for it but in terms of quality there was a bit to be desired.”