Sheffield United: ‘This team can reach the Premier League’

Sheffield United defender John Egan with his team mates
Sheffield United defender John Egan with his team mates

John Egan is convinced Chris Wilder can lead Sheffield United back into the Premier League, insisting he would not have joined the club from Brentford unless they were genuine promotion contenders.

But, speaking ahead of tomorrow's visit to Millwall, the Republic of Ireland international insisted his team mates remain grounded despite their strong start to the new campaign.

"My ambition is to get to the Premier League," Egan, who moved to Bramall Lane during the close season, said. "I wouldn’t have come if  that didn’t match the club and manager’s ambitions.

"For most players in the Championship, that’s their ambition too. I am no different to them.
"You have to take each game as it comes in this league, because it changes so fast.
"Our belief is that we want to be up at the top end of the table all season. To do that we have to keep winning games."

United travelled to London yesterday fourth in the Championship after taking maximum points from four of their last six games. Egan, aged 25, became United's most expensive ever signing after leaving Griffin Park, with his fee set to rise above £4m if they reach the top flight before the end of his four year contract. 

"We have a really strong squad, two players for every position, so it means everybody who has a shirt is really on their game," he said. "They know there’s somebody else who can come in and do a really good job.
"Training is ferocious, and it’s great to have such quality around."

John Egan with manager Chris Wilder

John Egan with manager Chris Wilder

"I think I have improved already since I came here," Egan added. "The manager and Knilly (assistant Alan Knill), I have learned a lot from them and got better.

"I haven’t (felt any pressure) from the fee. You come to a football club as a player, to do a job, no matter what the club has paid.
"You come in, train to play well, and play. You just go out and give 100 per cent for the team, manager and football club."

It is a measure of the competition within United's squad that Paul Coutts, one of their most influential performers since Wilder's appointment, faces a battle to reclaim his place after recovering from injury. The midfielder, who broke a leg in November, is available for selection after taking part in a behind-closed-doors friendly against Bury on Tuesday. Defender Martin Cranie, who also completed the game, could also feature at The Den.

"Continuity at the back has been important," Egan said. "We have all been really consistent so far. Hopefully we can keep being a good defensive unit, to build the team on.
"Our focus now is on Millwall, to go there and get three points. It’s a tough place to go."

John Egan is impressed by Sheffield United's "ferocious" training sessions

John Egan is impressed by Sheffield United's "ferocious" training sessions