Sheffield United remain at the top but endure a punishing night as injuries pile up ahead of the hectic schedule

First the good news. Sheffield United are still leaders.

In fact, the club’s current five-week stint is their longest uninterrupted run at the top of the second division in 17 years.

Add to that the fact that Paul Heckingbottom’s side also remain the division’s top scorer with 20 goals from a dozen games, and that only Preston North End have conceded fewer than the seven, and there really should be cause for optimism at Bramall Lane straight now.

However, this was not an encouraging first week of October.

Back-to-back home games against Birmingham City and Queens Park Rangers provided an excellent opportunity, on paper at least, to cement a stellar start to the new season.

Add a few more wins to the seven pants in their opening 10 games and United would be really well placed to push for a Premier League return. However, the reality was different: an uninspiring 1-1 draw, then last night’s 1-0 defeat.

You can hardly complain about the first defeat since the opening weekend.

QPR rookie head coach Michael Beale may have generously referred to them as “the toughest” opponent they’ve faced in the league, adding: “They took us where it really hurts,” but the Londoners were fully worth for their victory. Ilian Chair in particular caused all sorts of problems.

https://theathletic.com/3655532/2022/10/05/sheffield-united-injuries-championship-qpr/?source=rss Sheffield United remain at the top but endure a punishing night as injuries pile up ahead of the hectic schedule

John Verrall

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