Blackwell delighted with derby win

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Football News

Sheffield United manager Kevin Blackwell hailed "a massive win" after clinching his first Steel City derby at Bramall Lane as his side held on for a 3-2 triumph in a classic Coca-Cola Championship encounter.

Blackwell became the first United manager in 95 years to succumb to a league double to Wednesday last season, but three unanswered first-half strikes from United forwards Jamie Ward and Darius Henderson and Lewis Buxton's own goal wiped out his derby anguish.

Blackwell, whose side have climbed to fourth place in the table, said: "To be honest with you that monkey has been on my back for a while. As great a season as we had last season many locals dismissed it because we lost twice to Sheffield Wednesday. So it was a massive, massive victory here."

He added: "I had 10 new players who had never experienced a Sheffield derby. Try tell them what it's like. They now know what it's like. I'm delighted to get such a big result."

Blackwell praised new loan signing Andrew Davies, who arrived from Stoke earlier in the day and replaced Matt Kilgallon, who was suffering with a chest infection.

But the Blades boss revealed his side's first derby win since February 2006, in front of a crowd of 29,210 that created an electric atmosphere, was tempered by the loss of goalscorer Ward, who was stretchered off in the first half with a torn hamstring.

Blackwell added: "Andrew Davies looked a bit rusty in the first half an hour, but as the game went on he got better and better.

"He came in on Friday afternoon and it was a case of throwing him in, so he showed terrific mental toughness.

"We were superb in the first half. It could have been four or five, but Wardy was a big loss.

"He's on fire at the moment. He took his goal really well. He has goals in him and he's a real threat, so to lose him for six weeks is a blow."

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

Jamie Ward
Sheffield Wednesday
Stoke City
Darius Henderson
Andrew Davies
Lewis Buxton
Sheffield United

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