Sheffield United: New boy backed to boost United quest

On-loan United midfielder Ben Davies.
On-loan United midfielder Ben Davies.

Right-back John Brayford is tipping new Sheffield United recruit Ben Davies to be a “great asset” in their battle to stay up.

Since joining the League One club on loan from Derby County last week, Davies has featured as a substitute in their victories over Gillingham and Bristol City.

The 32-year-old is set to stay at Bramall Lane until the end of the season and Brayford, who knows Davies from their days together at Derby, believes the midfielder can play an instrumental role in United’s survival push.

“I played on the right hand side with Ben at Derby,” Brayford told The Star. “His work rate to come back and help his full-back is great.

“He’s got tremendous ability from set plays. He can put the ball on a sixpence for you. His all round game is great. The effort he puts in week in, week out doesn’t go unnoticed by his teammates.

“Ben isn’t the type of person who wants to sit around and pick up his money. He’s come here to play games and help the team push up the league and I’m fully sure he will do that.”

If in-form winger Ryan Flynn is ruled out of tonight’s trip to Colchester United due to a back injury, Davies is in line to make his full debut.

Brayford said: “Ben is an absolute top, top man. He’s a credit to himself and to his profession the way he applies himself. He is a great lad to have around the place.

“The gaffer takes people on character as well as their ability and Ben has got tremedous quality. He brings a lot to the changing room. He is a very nice guy.

“I think you enjoy it a heck of a lot more when you come into work with people such as Ben. He will be a great asset and will do really well for us.”

Brayford, on loan from Cardiff City, has starred since moving to South Yorkshire and claimed his first goal in United colours in their comprehensive win over City.

The attacking full-back, looking to make his seventh United start at Colchester, said: “It was nice to get on the score-sheet and a good feeling to score in front of the Kop. I probably don’t get as many goals I should do.

“My mum and dad were there at the weekend. They try and get to as many as games as they can. It is always a nice bonus to get a goal.

“The fans have been absolutely superb with me. I’ve been so impressed with them. Considering where we are in the table, for us to be getting 20,000 every week tells you everything you need to know about them. It is a pleasure playing for the crowd here.”

United face 16th-placed Colchester this evening seeking a sixth successive win in all competitions. Nigel Clough’s troops have tightened up defensively, conceding only once in their last five outings.

Brayford acknowledged: “If we aren’t confident after winning five on the bounce, we never will be. Colchester will be wary of us but we have to work hard and go and prove ourselves. Every away game is difficult but I don’t think we should be worried about them.”

United beat Birmingham City 3-0 in their development match at Shirecliffe yesterday after goals from Julian Banton, Joe Ironside (penalty) and Callum McFadzean.