NICK Blackman last night revealed how experiencing the hostility of top-flight football in Scotland can help him take League One by storm this term, writes James Shield.
Blackman, who yesterday joined Sheffield United from Blackburn Rovers, enjoyed prolific spells with Motherwell and Aberdeen earlier in his career.
The striker, who could make his debut against Burton Albion this afternoon, insisted that time north of the border has equipped him with the character to make a major impact at Bramall Lane.
Blackman told The Star: “Going up there made a man of me. Physically it’s tough and you have to battle for everything.
“You can’t get bullied. You’ve got to stand up for yourself and not back down.
“I played under Craig Brown at both clubs and, believe me, when you’ve got his assistant, Archie (Knox), screaming at you then you grow up fast.
“I owe them both a lot.”
Blackman, whose two-year contract contains a further 12 -month option, added: “Going to Celtic and scoring at Rangers teaches you what it’s like to play in intimidating atmospheres.”
Blackman, speaking ahead of the Capital Cup first-round tie against Gary Rowett’s side, also scored against his new employers during a short spell with Blackpool in 2009.
The 22-year-old said: “Bramall Lane was really intimidating that night too so I know how much the crowd can help us.
“I remember being marked by Chris Morgan. He was giving me a fair few whacks and I was trying to give him a few back but realised it wasn’t a good idea.
“I’m glad he’s retired so I won’t be on the receiving end again, although now he’s coaching he might want to give me some in training.”