Chris Wilder explained why he was happy with how Sheffield United performed in their defeat to Manchester United.
Wilder’s side took the lead against their high-profile visitors, but eventually lost 3-2 when they met on Thursday night.
It leaves Sheffield United stuck on one point and bottom of the Premier League table. However, their manager took enough positives from their display against a more powerful club.
“I’m happy with the manner of the performance,” Wilder told BBC Sport. “I wasn’t on Sunday night [against Southampton], I didn’t like what I saw then.
“I think anyone who has watched us would say we have been competitive but that is not enough. Tonight was about a performance if I’m being honest, we needed one from the players and we asked some questions from some world class players.
“Manchester United are an iconic global football club, one of the top three in the world. There is an enormous gulf between us and we have to try and bridge that by putting in a performance which I felt we did.
“We are a little disappointed with the manner of a couple of the goals but my players had a go.
“I wanted my team to be aggressive and have an intent about our play and I think we did. We had to be brave when we committed to the press and we were.
“We had a fantastic game against them last year where it was 3-3. We showed a lot of character. I wanted to see a performance and I did see that and I’ll sleep well tonight.”
Wilder not worried about job
If these bad results continue, Sheffield United may have to make a difficult decision about Wilder’s future.
Slaven Bilic became the first Premier League manager to lose his job earlier this week, and questions may soon be asked of Wilder.
The Blades boss, though, does not think his future should be in doubt – although he acknowledges there will be questions.
“I am a free manager anyway, I don’t worry about what I can’t control,” he said. “I don’t worry about my job. I keep coming into work and doing it to my best of my ability.
“There is a huge gulf, people don’t understand what Sheffield United are about when they talk about people’s futures. I have been in the game long enough to know that that question will be asked.
“There is a story to every club and we accept that.”