Sheffield United boss, Chris Wilder, said his players were ‘subdued’ after the 4-2 win over Wigan which saw the Blades go top of the Championship.
Billy Sharp’s hat-trick – his first since 2008 – condemned Paul Cook’s Wigan Athletic to their sixth straight away defeat.
Both Middlesbrough and Leeds United couldn’t carve out wins meaning United sit at the summit of the Championship by two points.
Wilder said the win was certainly flattering to his side and the boss added that the draw over Stoke, a 1-1 result after Joe Allen’s 88th minute leveller, was much better.
“I think the scoreline flatters us a little bit,” he said.
“We took our goals very very well, but the other part of it, the box-to-box, the tee to green wasn’t as good as the standards that we’ve set.
“You never turn down three points, especially at the top-end of the Championship, so we’ll gladly take them and remind the players that we need to do a little bit better than we did today.
“I think it was a little bit subdued in there [in the dressing room] afterwards. They understand that they weren’t at their best. There’s no kidding them, they’re good, honest footballers.”
Wilder heaped praise on hat-trick hero Sharp, who wasn’t named in the starting 11 for the visit of Stoke last Tuesday, and the United chief expected his skipper to respond in such an emphatic way.
“I’m perhaps going to stick my neck out and say that he was always playing today,” he added.
“I think that’s one of the things we have to navigate our way through this Championship programme from Saturday to Tuesday to Saturday, and that’s why we’ve got our squad.
“You’ve seen the way we play, we press, we’re a high energy team and we ask big demands of the players physically.
“Billy was always playing and possibly he’ll know but I’m sure we wouldn’t have got the general play and goals out of him if he’d have played Tuesday.
“It’s a big statement but I’ll stick with it.”
United’s next test is an away trip to 7th-placed Nottingham Forest on Saturday.