Sheffield United Chris Wilder bemoaned his side’s lack of “cutting edge” as their winless run in the Premier League swelled to 19 games.
A 1-0 defeat at Burnley ensured they would head into the new year with just two points from a possible 48 this term, in addition to three successive defeats at the end of last season.
The Blades are fighting hard to stay in games, with 11 of their 14 defeats coming by a solitary goal, but at the other end of the pitch there is little cause for cheer.
With just eight goals they are now adrift as the division’s lowest scorers, Burnley having pulled clear with Ben Mee’s winner on Tuesday evening.
Reflecting with a touch of gallows humour on what it might take to arrest that slide, Wilder suggested: “About £30-40million and £70-80,000 a week.”
In the absence of such lavish expenditure in January, it will be a case of tapping into the formula that saw United finish ninth in the previous campaign on the back of 14 victories.
“We had more possession against Burnley, but possession doesn’t win football matches,” said Wilder.
“We were disappointing yet again in that final third. We need to find that quality, that cutting edge to unlock (teams). There was lots of possession, lots of the ball, but nothing to really hurt them or open them up.”
Wilder insisted nobody at the club would be throwing in the towel, despite relegation now already appearing more of a likelihood than a possibility.
Citing the same motivation which saw the club push on to a 100-point season having already secured promotion from League One in 2016/17, he said: “We have to go right to the end, regardless of our position.
“We went right to the end when we were promoted with four games to go and went on to get 100 points because that’s our obligation: to go and leave everything out there.
“It’s not a case of having a bad round of golf after 11 holes and saying, ‘I’m going in’. You’ve got to see it out. So we’re going to recover, get ready for another game at the weekend and the players and myself will keep going. There’s no other way to approach it.”
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