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Slavisa Jokanovic hails Sheffield United’s character after late win over Derby

Sheffield United v Derby County – Sky Bet Championship – Bramall Lane
(Image credit: Barrington Coombs)

Sheffield United boss Slavisa Jokanovic praised his team’s character and personality after they recorded a 1-0 victory over 10-man Derby following a late penalty from Billy Sharp.

Goalkeeper Kelle Roos was sent off in the 57th minute for a foul on Sharp and the Rams looked to be holding out for a point until the Blades striker kept his cool from 12 yards at the death.

Derby forward Tom Lawrence rattled the near post with a shot from the left side of the box deep into stoppage time.

Jokanovic said: “This was not our best game, but we showed some kind of improvement in our personality and character.

“In the last 20 minutes I detected some body language that I didn’t like. I need to support them, and they need to support me and support themselves.

“We scored against Cardiff with a late goal, we scored against Preston with a late goal. This is part of football and is especially part of the Championship.

“I believe we are in some kind of the process. I repeat we didn’t play our best game. The first 45 minutes we didn’t find the space between the lines, they closed down really well.

“We pushed further in the second half and after the sending off we found more space, we tried to get more people in the box. This is part of the game, we didn’t play our best game, but we had enough power and knowledge to get the victory.”

Roos was given a straight red card in the 56th minute. An excellent through ball from Oliver Norwood played in Sharp who was left one on one with the outcoming keeper, with Roos taking out Sharp on the edge of the area to give United a free-kick.

Derby boss Wayne Rooney felt the sending off changed the game.

He said: “I think it was a penalty, and a red card is a red card, so there are no complaints from me with the decisions.

“Sheffield United are a very good team and the game plan today was to try and frustrate them and try and nick a win in the last 20 minutes. We were on course to do that as I thought we had the best chances throughout the game. Obviously the red card changed things.

“The character, the effort and everything the players gave, I can’t fault. It’s disappointing to lose but I think the lads showed great desire to play.

“It’s been difficult for everyone at the club, the players, the fans, the staff, and the players are they are the ones that have to perform in this difficult period. How they’ve applied themselves all week has been first class.”