DARRYL Westlake has admitted it took him time to adjust to life with Sheffield United following a summer move from Walsall.
The defender, who signed a two year contract at Bramall Lane earlier this year, has started the last three games for Danny Wilson’s League One side.
With Tony McMahon battling to overcome a hamstring complaint, Westlake is expected to retain his place against leaders Tranmere Rovers this weekend.
He said: “Coming from Walsall to here, with the fan base and everything, was a massive step.
“You can’t show any fear at a ground like ours and there’s nowhere to hide during matches.
“I feel I’ve done okay so far and I’ll keep working hard to try to improve.”
McMahon and striker Dave Kitson, who is also recuperating from a hamstring problem, are scheduled to undergo further treatment this week.
However, given the nature of their injuries, Wilson said: “We won’t be taking any risks because it’s the type of thing that can ‘go’ again if you try and do too much.
“With Dave, it really is a case of taking things on a daily basis and seeing how he is rather than taking a risk.”
United, who climbed to third in League One when they beat Carlisle four days ago, discover tonight who they will face in the next stage of the FA Cup when Oxford host Accrington Stanley in a second round replay.
Chris Wilder, the Oxford manager and ex-United defender, described the meeting with Stanley as “very important” given the financial rewards of a home draw against Wilson’s charges.
“There’s always the salary cap and you have to abide by that, but I’d like to think the money we’ve earned through the FA Cup and Johnstone’s Paint Trophy will go towards squad strengthening,” he said. “A lot of it is governed by finances and I’d like to be in a position that if we do progress in the FA Cup it would give us a little bit more to go and get a bit more quality.”