Manager Chris Wilder and defender John Egan met the media this morning ahead of Saturday’s trip to Millwall.
Here’s a brief rundown of the talking points from the press conference.
Injury news – Really good positive week. Had to win Preston game twice, boys really receptive about our views and opinions on it and gave their opinions, too.
Behind closed doors game – Everyone who played got 90 minutes; including Clarke, Washington, Cranie, Stearman, Woodburn. Really strong side out, competitive game, now focus goes into Saturday.
How important those games – Players should be disappointed when they don’t pay, but we thought it was important to give them a work out. Bury came over and they got something out of it as well as us, I’m sure.
Injury concerns – None. Everyone’s pushing and I’d expect no different.
Paul Coutts – He’s doing great, but he’s got to get into the side. Got some good players who aren’t playing at the minute. Coutts had another 90 minutes and when the door opens for him, he'll be ready and raring to go.
Competition makes your job harder? 100 per cent. Rather have this than last season when we played Preston and had to play Danny Lafferty in midfield and bring on Regan Slater, no disrespect to them.
Preston game – Players are honest, and they recognise they lost their shape and their discipline. We maybe took our foot off the gas a little bit and thought it was game over. Then momentum swung, conceded two poor goals but then got the win we felt we deserved for our performance.
Character of team – Never been in question, the way they go about it and how they got themselves off the canvas. Did they change it up or did we drop off? It was possibly a bit of both. But it was quite right that David McGoldrick scored, he was one of the best players on the pitch.
Surprised by Millwall? It can happen. A few players move and a few results don’t go their way. We don’t look too much into starts and it’s a difficult place to go. Not as difficult as it used to be, though! Beaten Derby, should have beaten Boro on day one, couple of things haven’t gone for them. They could easily be higher in the division.
Owe them one after three straight defeats down there? First game was talked about as a turning point for our season, difficult one to take, and last season we just didn’t do enough. They were better in both boxes. Lot of similarities between the clubs in terms of players we go and get and it’ll be an evenly contested game.
Ryan Leonard – He can play. That’s part of the agreement – Ryan’s not coming back to us. It’s not like he’s our player and he's going to come back. In all but name, it’s a permanent deal and that was part of the agreement between both clubs at the negotiation stage. We have to make sure we’re right and recognise Ryan’s a decent player, as a lot of their players are.
Reluctant to see him go? It was a deal we did. He was in and around our first team, and he wanted to go and play games. The pathway here was blocked for him, so it suited the player and we got a good return on the fee we paid. These things happen. When you sign a player you want him to go and play 350 league games, but it sometimes doesn’t happen.
Could be top Saturday night – We’ll just try and win the game. If we do, and other results go our way then great, if not it’s another three points to our total.
Preston – Always a tough side to beat so a really good win for us. We want to get better every day and the manager drills that into us every day, so there’s positives and negatives in every game. Even when you win, you can pick the bones out of it.
Ever-present this season – Helped me bed in, continuity is key especially at the back and we’ve done well so far, so hopefully we can keep that going.
Expect to play every minute? Just take it game by game, do my best and try and impress in training. Everyone tries to do that, and I’m no different.
Competition strong – Really good at the minute, think we’ve got two players for every position at the minute so it means everyone who has the shirt at the minute knows there’s someone behind them who can come in and do a really good job. We’ve got quality all over the park.
Competition for goals between defenders – Always nice to get a goal but main thing is keeping them out, want to keep more clean sheets and if we go the other end and nick one, that’s great.
Right move to United - Improved already, learned a lot from the manager and Knilly and the new system.
Pressure of price tag – Not really, come in and do a job no matter what a club has paid for you. Maybe you think at the start you need to prove you’re worth it but it's about giving your all for the club and the team and the manager, and that’s what I do.
Ambitions – To get to the Premier League, and I wouldn’t have come here if I didn’t think that was the manager and the club’s ambitions too. We’ll keep fighting to do that.
International front – When doing well in the league, it helps. And I have Enda there too, I get on really well with him and know all the lads in the squad so that’s always nice.