Blackwell content despite Blades blank

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Sheffield United manager Kevin Blackwell forgave his players for passing up the chance to climb back into the top two after a frustrating goalless draw against 10-man Nottingham Forest.

Relegation battlers Forest had Kelvin Wilson sent off in the 16th minute for a blatant headbutt on Blades midfielder Greg Halford but after five successive league wins United were unable to capitalise.

"If you said to me back in June when we returned for pre-season training that with three games to go we'd be in with a chance of automatic promotion, I'd have broken both your legs and your arms," said Blackwell.

The Blades manager, who hopes Matt Kilgallon can return to action next week after sustaining a knee ligament injury at Reading, added: "It was difficult.

"We saw what Forest came to do. They never really came to play, but the onus was on us to break them down, but we just couldn't get the ball to break.

"I would have been delighted with 10 out of 12 points at the start of the week, but we always get greedy don't we."

Halford forced Forest goalkeeper Paul Smith into a brilliant save with a point-blank far-post header late in the first half, but the Blades were thwarted at every twist and turn and rarely penetrated the visitors' steely defence.

Blackwell also believed Wilson deserved a straight red card for his actions, but that even without his dismissal Forest were hell-bent on stopping the Blades from playing.

He added: "There was no room for us in their box and you've got to give them credit to be fair.

"Forest are in such a position that it would have been stupid of them to go gung-ho."

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Paul Smith
Nottingham Forest
Greg Halford
Kelvin Wilson
Sheffield United

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