Sheffield United: Johns sets his sights high

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Jasper Johns has revealed his determination to force his way into the first-team set-up at Sheffield United after joining from Everton.

But the youngster is aware that he can expect no favours from new United boss David Weir, who worked closely with him at Goodison Park.

“I’m really happy to join United,” Johns told the Telegraph. “It’s a big club, as everyone says, and a good club, too, from what I’ve seen around the place since I arrived.

“I didn’t think I’d get anywhere when I was released, to be honest, but I played a pre-season game against United, caught the eye and they came in for me when I got released.

“It was a bit daunting at times but I tried to stay positive. A lot of the staff at Everton were quite shocked that I got released, so that gave me some confidence in a way.

“Of course, I worked closely with the gaffer (Weir) while we were at Everton, so I know what he’s all about and he knows what I can offer.

“But like everyone else here, I have to prove myself and prove my worth.”

Johns, one of Weir’s first United signings alongside Febian Brandy, Stephen McGinn and Sean McGinty, was signed initially with one eye on the club’s U21 development squad - but the teenager has somewhat loftier ambitions.

“I want to push for the first team,” he said.

“If not the team, I want to be pushing to get in and around the first team squad.

“My plan is to use the pre-season tour (of Scotland) to get to know the players and the staff, and then push on from there once I get familiar.”

After his release from Goodison Park, Johns had unsuccessful trial spells at two of United’s League One rivals; Wolverhampton Wanderers and Bournemouth.

“They both said no,” Johns said. “But luckily it didn’t get me too down. I’m quite a positive person, which helped, and eventually a good club came along and gave me a chance. In some respects, it’s quite a similar club to Everton. It’s a city with two big clubs, a massive rivalry, and United - like Everton - is a real people’s club.”