Kevin Blackwell bemoans replay after QPR hold Sheffield United



Posted Monday, January 04, 2010 by theguardian.com

Kevin Blackwell bemoans replay after QPR hold Sheffield United
Richard Cresswell celebrates with his team-mates after scoring Sheffield United's equaliser.
Photograph: Action Images

The Sheffield United manager Kevin Blackwell admitted a draw was the last result he wanted after his side pulled back to finish 1-1 in their FA Cup third-round clash with QPR. Jay Simpson broke the deadlock for the visitors seven minutes before half-time when the on-loan Arsenal striker netted his 10th goal of the season from Wayne Routledge's right-wing cross.

But Rangers' lead was short-lived, with Richard Cresswell sending a looping header into the net on the stroke of half-time to level the score. Cresswell's equaliser may have given the fans something to cheer about but it now results in a replay, something Blackwell is not looking forward to.

"We're frustrated," he said. "But if you're not clinical in the last third and in the box that's what happens. We hit the bar a couple of times and overall I think we shaded the game, there's not doubt about that.

"It was [the last result we wanted]," he continued. "We tried to be as positive as we could and I wanted to finish the game here. I didn't want to go down there and have any more games because the squad isn't big enough to handle it. Anyway, we'll go down there now and replay, and give all we can."

Meanwhile, the QPR manager, Paul Hart, sees the replay in a more positive light. Having only recently taken charge, the former Portsmouth manager is keen to learn as much as he can about his new players.

"I've been in three weeks and in that time, with the Christmas period and one thing and another – icy pitches and all that – it has been difficult to get any meaningful work done," he said. "So, sometimes you have to get it done through games. I'm very pleased to be in the hat [for the fourth round] and if it means we can turn a few things around, another game will be fine."

QPR were on the back foot for large spells of the game, with Stephen Quinn and Ched Evans hitting the bar for the home side either side of half-time. But the visitors held strong and Hart praised his side's determination for earning a mid-January replay.

"I thought we fought really hard," he said. "We set up to be difficult to beat and I think we achieved that to some extent. I was disappointed to come in at half-time at 1-1 when the players are saying the ball went out of play before the corner was awarded. But then after that closing down the cross was not there and the header was disappointing.

"We withstood Sheffield United's pressure early on in the second half and kept strong. Overall we're in the hat after coming to a ground where many Premier League sides have floundered in the past. We thought it would be hard game anyway, and I thought we did okay."

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