Robert Page has insisted it is only a matter of time before Sheffield United win promotion from League One.
The Port Vale manager, who made over 100 appearances for the South Yorkshire club as a player, delivered his verdict ahead of today’s meeting between the two teams at Bramall Lane.
United were relegated from the Championship in 2011 and Page said: “I know supporters will get frustrated because they have seemed to get so far then fall by the wayside . Then they will want to put that right every season after.
“This season is no different. They are going to want promotion this season.
“If they don’t get it they will address it in the summer and move forward. Eventually they will get there, it is a big enough club that they have the resources available as well to push for promotion.”
Page represented fifth-placed United between 2001 and 2004 after initially arriving on loan from Watford. Two years ago, he was interviewed for the managerial vacancy created by Danny Wilson’s departure before David Weir, Nigel Clough’s immediate predecessor, secured the post instead.
Although Page described the process as history, he admitted it was flattering to be considered.
“It is a fantastic club and I had three great years there as a player,” Page said. “I really enjoyed them.
“The people there are brilliant. They are great owners, they are supporters of the club, want what is best for the club and will do whatever it takes to get them back up.
“They will support any manager that goes in.
“So, of course to be linked to a club like that was special because I played for and captained the club as well. But some you get and some you don’t.
“It didn’t go for me that day but thankfully I have been given this opportunity at Port Vale.”
Page, who took charge at Vale Park in September, revealed centre-forward Alex Nimely, previously of Manchester City, will be disciplined after failing to report for work earlier this week. The visitors are 13th in the table but have won their last three away matches.
“He (Nimely) has gone AWOL,” Page told a media conference earlier this week.
“We have given him the opportunity to come in and have a chat and sort things out but he has gone AWOL so it is in the hands now of the people above us.
“We will go down the disciplinary route and sort that out.”
“I want good people around me,” Page added. “I want good professionals that want to work hard to earn the right to be in the team.
“Nobody has a God given right to put that jersey on. You have to earn the right to do that.”