Jamal Blackman will become an even better player if he learns the lesson of his red card against Brentford, Chris Wilder has insisted, after admitting it was difficult to decide if the goalkeeper warranted an immediate recall following a three match ban.
Blackman has started all of Sheffield United’s games since completing his suspension and is expected to feature against Preston North End this weekend.
Speaking ahead of the meeting with Alex Neil’s side, Wilder acknowledged the 24-year-old had made an error of judgement during last month’s visit to Griffin Park, when he reacted to a challenge from Ryan Woods who also received a red card.
But the United manager said: “It’s nice to have a tough call. I think it was a learner for Jamal. It was a reaction to something that came out of the blue. So he’ll learn from that experience.”
Although Wilder conceded Simon Moore would feel hard done by after deputising for Blackman, his decision was influenced by the latter’s performances before being sent-off.
United, five points behind sixth-place with two fixtures remaining, travel to Bristol City after playing host to their rivals from Lancashire on Saturday.
“All these experiences are great for the players. The likes of him, (George) Baldock, (David) Brooks, Jack (O’Connell), they’re all different scenarios and games. They’ll really benefit from them. I’m sure, when we sit down at the end of the season, people will be better off for them.”