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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Nov 29, 2006

Blades boss Warnock hails 'massive' win

Sheffield United manager Neil Warnock believes Tuesday night's 1-0 win at Watford was crucial to his team's chances of survival in the Barclays Premiership.

Danny Webber stepped off the bench to score against his former club three minutes from time to hand United their second away win of the season and put them four points clear of 19th-placed Watford. /news/story?id=394065&cc=

And Warnock revealed the importance he had attached to claiming maximum points tonight.

'This was massive,' he admitted. 'People say it is just another game, but that was not the case tonight.

'If we want to stay in the Premiership this season, this was a game we had to win - and how we did not score before Danny got his goal, I will never know.'

Watford believed Webber was offside for the goal, but Warnock said: 'I hope it was 20 yards offside.

'We have had about nine major decisions go against us this year, so I make no apology if one has gone for us.'

Warnock was also furious with the home side's ball-boys, whom he accused of failing to dry the ball with their towels when his team won throw-ins.

The Blades boss revealed he had complained to fourth official Steve Bennett about the situation during half-time.

He continued: 'The ball-boys sat on the towels when we had a throw-in, but used them to dry the ball when Watford had one.

'We made a complaint to Steve Bennett at half-time. It is ridiculous - we are in the Premiership and we are talking about towels.'

But Hornets boss Adrian Boothroyd insisted the ball-boys had not been instructed to treat the teams differently.

Boothroyd admitted United had deserved to win the game and accepted his players had under-performed.

He believed Webber had been in an offside position during the build-up to the goal, but he refused to use that as an excuse for the defeat.

Boothroyd said: 'Sheffield United were the better side. I asked the crowd to perform today, and they did - but we did not.

'Everything that we normally do well, we failed to do tonight. We did not put enough crosses in and we did not get enough people into dangerous areas.

'The goal was a mile offside, but those things seem to be happening to us at the moment.

'If we had played fantastically well it would have been a huge blow, but, as it is, we have to hold our hands up.

'I am disappointed, but not devastated.'

The Hornets were missing a number of regulars, with goalkeeper Ben Foster (knee) and forwards Hameur Bouazza (ankle) and Ashley Young (flu) sidelined along with long-term injury victims Marlon King and Clarke Carlisle.

Young's creativity was sorely missed by the home team and Boothroyd accepted that his absence had weakened Watford.

'We did miss Ashley a lot tonight, because he is a key player for us,' Boothroyd said. 'But we cannot use that as an excuse.

'We had to try to adjust and adapt without him.

'We have a lot of injuries, and that can cripple a small squad. But everybody has to deal with these situations.

'Other clubs have bigger squads, but this is still just one of those things.'

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