Sheffield United: 'Pressure? That is working in Tesco,' says Slavisa Jokanovic

Sheffield United manager Slavisa Jokanovic has admitted he feels an obligation to not only deliver results but also entertain after acknowledging his team will never realise its potential unless players and supporters alike are inspired by what the club is trying to achieve.

Friday, 27th August 2021, 5:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 31st August 2021, 10:58 am

Speaking ahead of last weekend’s game against Luton Town, where United hoped to record their first win of the new Championship season but left with a goalless draw, the Serb attempted to erase some of the disappointment surrounding recent results.

Asked if he felt some of those under his command had “fallen out of love with football” during last tern’s relegation from the Premier League, Jokanovic also denied United’s faltering start to the campaign had left them under pressure, saying: “They must start to enjoy it. If you don't enjoy your profession, if you are always under unnecessary stress, then what are you scared about? Why?

“You can’t be scared of football. That is completely wrong. Football is a serious business, yes. It is about pressure, responsibility and strong words. But in England, as you say, football is the beautiful game. We must make it more beautiful.”

“Football isn’t pressure,” the Serb continued. “Working in Tesco or somewhere else, that is pressure.

“This is a beautiful life, a wonderful way of earning a living, and we must all embrace and enjoy that.”

With United selling out their ticket allocation for the trip to Luton, Jokanovic said: “I must say, I am really impressed with our supporters. They are coming, between other things, to enjoy themselves.

“They want to enjoy watching the games and they can enjoy it if we are also enjoying ourselves on the field. Come on, let’s go out there and enjoy ourselves. We need to enjoy ourselves, perform and bring entertainment for the people.”

Sheffield United manager Slavisa Jokanovic takes his team to Luton Town this weekend: Nick Potts/PA Wire.

Although he boasts a reputation for being a tactical obsessive, Jokanovic stressed he does not want to burden United’s players with a raft of complicated instructions, adding: “I can scream but it is the decision of the player that makes football so beautiful. Because when they take the right one, that is when people go ‘Wow.’

“I must protect my players because they are working hard. Now, we must also impress.”

Slavisa Jokanovic wants his players to get results and entertain in the process: Andrew Yates / Sportimage