Chris Wilder was satisfied with the workout of his team, despite Wednesday evening's 1-0 defeat to Derby County in the latest pre-season friendly.
It was Wilder's bow as Blades boss at Bramall Lane but it was former United striker Nick Blackman who scored the only goal of the game, converting a first half penalty for the Championship promotion-contenders.
"There's still a lot of hard work to be done, but it was a satisfactory night, the lads showed a great attitude," said Wilder, who gave new striker Leon Clarke a 30-minute run out.
The United chief continued: "We were up against it because Derby made an excellent start. Their shape caused us a few problems but when we broke them up we caused them a few problems too. It was a competitive game and I thought the penalty decision was a little harsh, we were unlucky with that.
"Derby are good team and will go well in the Championship but we acquitted ourselves well. I thought we lacked a little confidence and believe when we got in some good positions.
"I thought John Fleck and Jack O'Connell were excellent and I think we are getting a little more out of some of the existing players and that is great to see."
The Blades have one more pre-season friendly - against Handsworth Parramore at Worksop on Friday night - before the EFL League One season kicks off at Bolton on 6th August.