Sheffield United manager Slavisa Jokanovic expressed his relief that midfielder John Fleck was “conscious and talking” after he collapsed during the second half of the 1-0 win at Reading.
Jayden Bogle grabbed United’s winner but the match was overshadowed by the second-half incident when Fleck went down apparently unchallenged, with his team-mates quickly indicating for the medics to run on the pitch to tend to him.
Fleck, 30, received “urgent medical care” according to United’s official Twitter account and, after a 10-minute delay, was taken off on a stretcher and out of the ground to a waiting ambulance.
"Everything was quick, both benches. We hope all of us, everything will be ok with him."— Sheffield United (@SheffieldUnited) November 23, 2021
Jokanovic said: “John is conscious, he is in the hospital, he is talking with the doctors and he is in good hands.
“We hope everything will be okay and we expect everything will be fine. He was talking and he asked for the result.
“I didn’t really see the incident but it looked like he just collapsed, without any physical contact around him.
“I am not a doctor but the news is positive. It was not an easy situation for everybody.”
Of the 1-0 win, ending United’s four-match winless run, Jokanovic added: “We are where we are and we really needed that.
“We need other points, which is what we deserved from before.
“We were confident in our possession and we had a lot of the passes but we didn’t create that many chances, especially in the first half.
“We had some situations from set-plays but we didn’t find enough space for us to run in to.
“Reading made a good defensive job on us at times but, fortunately, we didn’t show any weaknesses today.”
Reading, deducted six points last week for EFL financial breaches, have now won only once in seven games.
“Everyone knew that this would be a game of one goal,” Reading manager Veljko Paunovic said. “Whoever scored first had more possibilities to win.
“I think that both teams suffered from fatigue and, everywhere around the league, you can see the results are not many goals – a lot of 0-0s and draws.
“It just indicates that, at this point of the season, an early midweek game affects both teams in terms of the quality.
“We knew at half-time that we had to be patient. United didn’t really threaten us but neither did we threaten them, so it was a very flat game for me.”
A frustrating evening for the Royals as Jaden Bogle's goal proved decisive.— Reading FC (@ReadingFC) November 23, 2021
Of the Fleck incident, Paunovic said: “The experience we all had tonight was so dramatic and so horrible.
“I hope that John will return as soon as possible in good shape in his normal life, and to play football like he did before.
“Hopefully, there are no other consequences [for him] after this.”
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