Leading man Duffy reveals Sheffield United strike not quite off the training ground

MARK DUFFY revealed his goal which gave Sheffield United the lead at Charlton Athletic was not as textbook as observers might have imagined.

The 32nd-minute strike, his third for the club, was almost straight off the training ground. Paul Coutts slipped the ball wide from a free kick just outside Charlton's box into the path of the onrushing Duffy who got round the back of the defence before dispatching the ball past goalkeeper Dillon Phillips. "I was supposed to pass it," he said, "but I saw the chance open up."

Despite their dominance from start to finish United had to settle for a draw at The Valley after the home side levelled in the third minute of stoppage time. "We’re all really gutted in there [the dresssing room]. It feels like a loss really. We should have beaten them out of sight but we haven’t put our chances away," said the 31-year-old midfield man.

"It’s not about getting into good areas it’s about putting the ball into the back of the net. To play two games against nine men [at home to Shrewsbury, 2-1 and Bury, 1-0] we should be winning more comfortably. Today we have dominated for a large part of the game and you can see they’re [Charlton’s] celebration at the end. They’re absolutely made up to nick a 1-1 draw. We can’t be too disappointed but then again if we want to go anywhere we’ve got to take all three points."

Duffy believes this United squad is far superior to the ones he has come across before. "It’s a totally different team to any I’ve played against Sheffield United in the past. That’s no disrespect to the players or management staff who have been here in the past, but we set our standards really high. We’ve dominated games but it’s all about putting the ball in the net and unfortunately today it wasn’t high.

"I’m absolutely loving it here. The style of play, we get on the ball and move it round really well, everyone’s scoring goals. It’s really enjoyable out there but it’s not too enjoyable tonight because we haven’t got three points and we’re not where we want to be."