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Blackwell delighted with Sheffield Utd steel after promotion win

Sheffield United boss Kevin Blackwell was proud of his players after they defeated Preston 2-1 last night to reach the final of the Premiership promotion playoff.

Holding off a late challenge at Bramall Lane, the home side required a solitary Greg Halford goal to secure their passage to Wembley in two weeks' time.

Asked if he felt the result was deserved, Blackwell said: "I think so, I thought the players were magnificent tonight.

"We were relentless but at one point I thought we weren't going to get the goal.

"But it came and it was a very good goal and Greg took it well."

He added: "These games are all about big characters but I think the youngsters really came of age tonight without question.

"Kyle Naughton and (Kyle) Walker were awesome tonight, (Keith) Quinn and (David) Cotterill as well. I think the future is bright if we can keep it going."

Blackwell admitted to having some unfinished business in the play-offs, saying: "I lost my job (at Leeds) over it last time so I'm well aware of the expectations in the play-offs.

"We're not celebrating yet," he added. "But we're there and we still have a chance of playing in the Premier League."

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