Chris Wilder claimed his 100th win as Sheffield United manager before insisting the FA Cup victory at Bristol Rovers was all about his team’s first success of the season, and not about him.
Oliver Burke and Jayden Bogle added to an early Joe Day own goal as the Premier League’s basement club beat Bristol Rovers 3-2 at the Memorial Stadium.
Alfie Kilgour and Max Ehmer had scored equalisers after United’s first and second goals to give the Sky Bet League One club hope of causing an upset.
But it was not enough to stop United bagging a first success at the 19th attempt this season and Wilder taking his victories as Blades manager into three figures, six months after win number 99.
“It’s never ever been about me,” Wilder said after a week when he had to answer speculation about his future.
“It’s always been about putting the football club first and the whole football club needed a win.
“We needed a win because of the form and the results we’ve produced so far. We needed a win for the players and the football club, and we went as strong as we could.
“It’s not a huge game for people outside our football club. But it’s a big win for the run we’ve been in and we had to get a result for the players and the supporters.
“The players have taken a hit in confidence and belief, but we’ve got through a tricky tie that a lot of people in the football world would have expected us to lose.”
Rovers are just above the League One relegation zone but Paul Tisdale’s side had won four of their last five games in all competitions heading into this one.
“They are currently in decent nick and we’re not,” Wilder said.
“I thought we played OK to well and controlled the majority of the game.
“I was disappointed with the timing of their two goals. We had opportunities, we had to kill the game off, but they had nothing to lose and we had everything to lose.”
Tisdale said: “We had a good go at it and the players are disappointed because they felt they had an opportunity.
“I am disappointed because we had a chance to win and we didn’t take it. Generally, we played really well – there was a lot of fight and we pushed them all the way.
“I asked the players not to sit back and hope for a 1-0 win. I said I didn’t mind if they lost 3-2 if they had a go and that’s how it worked out in the end.
“I’ve only been here for seven weeks and I’m pleased with what the players are doing. They really competed out there against a team from the Premier League.
“We can take confidence from this and the fact there wasn’t a lot in it against a Premier League side. We challenged and competed to get into a position to win it, but couldn’t quite take the opportunity.”