PHIL Parkinson refused to criticise Wanderers after they slumped to a 1-0 home defeat against Sheffield United.

Cameron Carter-Vickers scored the only goal of a tight game at the Macron to leave the Whites bottom of the table with two points from their first seven outings.

It is only the third time in the club's history they have started a campaign with four successive home defeats - the previous occasions being 1889 and 2011 – but the manager insists he could draw encouragement from the performance.

“I don’t think we could have given much more,” he said. “We gave everything to win the game and then get back into the game when we conceded the goal from the scrambled corner.

“I thought the energy levels were great, I think there were some of the best individual performances we have had all season – Mark Little and Josh Cullen were excellent – and I feel for the boys.

“I don’t think we could have given much more. Somewhere around the corner someone will clear one in the box and it will fall to us, and we’ll smack it in the top corner.

“It would be nice if we got a ref who gave us a few decisions but everyone has seen his performance, which for me was a very disappointing one on the night.

Parkinson was particularly upset with Warwickshire referee Stuart Attwell, who he felt had failed to keep control of the game in the second half.

“I thought his performance was very poor,” he added. “I said to Steve Parkin when he got into the Premier League and got knocked back down we had him a couple of times and I thought he had a good demeanour, knew the game, but I thought he went backwards there.

“I think he got a lot of calls wrong for both teams and I spoke to Chris (Wilder) about it, and he agreed it was a frustrating performance.”

Blades boss Chris Wilder was magnanimous in victory, admitting the game had been a close-run contest.

“It was hard fought game and the result could have gone either way if I am being honest.

“Their start hasn’t been great but the similarity from last year, us knowing a little bit about us and them knowing a little bit about us, brought the teams closer together in terms of performances.

“And because they have got proud people on their staff and proud players, they weren’t going to let us come in and take the three points easy. We had to work extremely hard and defend for our lives at times.”