Date: 19th October 2008 at 8:52pm
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United boss Kevin Blackwell may point towards the sending off of Matthew Kilgallon as the turning point in Sunday’s derby, but he was full of praise for his players’ approach.

The Blades put in one of their worst derby day performances in recent history when they fell to a convincing 2-0 defeat at Hillsborough last season with Bryan Robson at the helm.

But despite a successive defeat at S6, Blackwell was proud of the effort and commitment of his 10-men as they pushed Wednesday for the full 90 minutes and showed a marked improvement from this time last season.

He told the official SUFC website: ‘I am not going to criticise my players because I have no complaint about them at all. We had to change the system in a reshuffle and that is when we conceded.

‘It was a pivotal decision but we showed great character after that to stay in the game right until the end when I thought Wednesday were just hanging on.

‘After last season’s game here there was criticism for our approach and this time we wanted to show some passion and commitment, which we did.’

And, despite stats proving otherwise, Blackwell was, shall we say, not best pleased with the performance of the referee and in particular the sending off of Kilgallon.

‘I don’t think we got any decision that mattered. I’m afraid if you talk about referees you get fined these days and I’m only a poor manager, so I can’t talk about referees,’ he told Sporting Life.

‘Not just the sending off. There were other fouls that have gone on in the game that were blatant and he’s missed them.

‘If that’s a sending off we might as well pack up and go home.

‘There was no malicious intent there. If he’s to take a booking, fair enough, but that was pathetic.’

Better luck next time, Kevin…