SHEFFIELD United’s Darius Henderson has signalled he will not be driven out of South Yorkshire by admitting he would be “happy” to stay even if the club finds itself in League One next season.
Together with goalkeeper Steve Simonsen, Henderson incurred the wrath of the Bramall Lane crowd during last weekend’s victory over Bristol City.
But, 48 hours later, he silenced his critics in style with two well-executed goals as United stunned promotion-chasing Reading 3-2 at the Madejski Stadium on Monday.
That result means Micky Adams’ side enter their derby with Barnsley six points adrift of safety with two games left to play.
Loanees Shane Lowry and Joe Mattock recently indicated they would be keen to remain with United irrespective of whether they finish in the bottom three.
Henderson echoed those sentiments, saying: “It is by far the worst season I have ever had with injury but my goal has not changed. I want to finish the season well and I’ve no plans to leave the club.
“I love it here and would be happy to stay even if that’s in League One.”
Henderson only recently returned from an 11-month absence. Although his proclamation will doubtless be welcomed by coaching staff, United’s board of directors face some tough and potentially unpopular decisions should they be forced to revise budgets if relegation is confirmed.
Henderson, whose situation is being monitored by a number of United’s Championship rivals, added: “The pressure from the crowd doesn’t affect me one bit.
“I would rather take stick than be stuck on the sidelines and I thrive off that sort of thing.
“I won’t be hiding because it spurs me on.
“If the boo boys think they’re doing the right thing then that’s up to them.
“They pay their money and are entitled to an opinion.”
Meanwhile, United’s community initiative has been shortlisted for a national award alongside Everton, Leicester Tigers, Nottinghamshire CCC, Sunderland and Watford.
The Professional Sports Club Community Programme of the Year prize at the Sports Club of the Year Awards aims to reward out-reach programmes.