VERSATILE defender Matt Hill is urging his new Sheffield United team-mates to cut out the defensive errors hindering their automatic promotion hopes.
Danny Wilson’s troops slumped to a third defeat in four matches in League One at Walsall on Tuesday, shipping in three goals after the break for the second match in succession.
With both Sheffield Wednesday and Huddersfield Town chalking up victories in midweek, United’s lead in second position has been cut to just a solitary point.
Hill, who joined United on loan from Blackpool until the end of the season just hours before the trip to the Banks’s Stadium, played alongside fellow debutant John Egan, signed on a month’s loan from Sunderland, against the relegation-threatened Saddlers in a new-look back four.
“It is difficult when there is a new partnership but I thought we did well up to the first goal,” he said.
“As defenders, you don’t like to concede goals and we conceded three.
“It is quite disappointing and we have to learn from it.”
Predominantly a left-back, Hill, who played 24 times for Barnsley last season, said he learned of United’s interest in his services on Monday evening. Having struggled to command a regular first-team place at Blackpool, the Bristol-born player has expressed his delight at the opportunity of resurrecting his faltering career at Bramall Lane.
He said: “It is a big club that wants to go places and it would be fantastic to be part of that.”
Injuries and suspensions robbed United manager Wilson of several senior players at Walsall, including Haiti international Lecsinel Jean-Francois, who is unlikely to return to action until next year after damaging his cruciate knee ligaments in the 3-2 reversal at home to Oldham Athletic.
Nonetheless, Wilson has criticised his team’s “poor” defending, saying the players “fell asleep for the opener” and is demanding a big improvement from his charges when they head to Brentford this weekend.
“I think the manner in which we conceded the goals at Walsall was very disappointing,” he said. “It is frustrating but we can’t lose our focus. We are still in a good position. We’ll work hard.
“Walsall was a down but we can quite easily rectify that by going to Brentford and getting a good result.”