Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder said Billy Sharp did “what he does best” after his brace secured a deserved 2-0 win at Blackburn.
The Blades showed their class with a performance of poise and patience, which was rewarded with two second-half strikes from Sharp – a tap-in and header – to put Wilder’s men on the same points as the league leaders.
It gave the Blades their first win at Ewood Park since 1986, and Sharp has now scored four in his last three outings.
After securing their third straight win, Wilder heaped praise on his captain, and his side’s ability to control the game.
Wilder said: “He (Sharp) is getting himself in the goals, his general all-round play is good, his link-up play is the best it’s been at this football club and he does what he does best, which is score. It’s great movement and it’s fantastic for the skipper to score two.
“We’ve had to work extremely hard, had to do a lot of good things right tonight. It’s a difficult place to come, they have a great home record.
“The skipper has got two and we’ve controlled a lot of the game but I thought the way we dealt with (Bradley) Dack and (danny) Graham is a really pleasing aspect of our game.
“It’s a tough place to come but we needed to keep playing the way we play. We talked at half-time about a little bit of quality around the final third. We got into some great positions first half without finding that last little bit, and we did in the second half.”
Defeat ended Blackburn’s four-match unbeaten run and was just the second time they’ve failed to score at home this year.
Mowbray, though, had no complaints with the defeat, focusing on his side’s 25-match unbeaten run.
He said: “The result is obviously disappointing but we played against a good team today. We said that before the match, they’re probably further on than us. They play a difficult system to cope with.
“I think we had chances, we just didn’t take them tonight. We had isolated chances. I think they controlled the game generally in the first half. We tried to make it more difficult for them in the second half, and yet they scored the goal second half, so we’re disappointed. But we brush it off very quickly.
“They should be very proud of what they’ve achieved over the last year or so, at home particularly.
“I thought we could maybe nick it 1-0. It wasn’t to be. But that’s football. Defeat is part of football.
“It’s OK to lose a game now and then. It’s how you react and how you bounce back. I’ve got every confidence that they will.”