Loan defender John Brayford has backed Sheffield United to mount a serious promotion challenge next season - whether or not he returns.
The Cardiff defender is scheduled to return to Wales after completing his successful loan spell at Bramall Lane. United boss Nigel Clough, who managed Brayford at Burton Albion and Derby County, could discover this month whether he can obtain the popular defender’s services on a permanent basis, although Cardiff’s recent relegation from the Premier League means that negotiations may not be straightforward. But Brayford, speaking after Saturday’s 2-1 win over Coventry City at Bramall Lane, said: “It was a tremendous send off - to come from behind and get the win, and then to see 20,000 fans stay behind and applaud all the players and staff for their efforts this season.
“It was a touching moment. We’ve signed off with eight league games unbeaten, and that sends a message for next season.
“The gaffer [Clough] has built a great foundation for this football club, and if he is given time there are only good times ahead. He builds teams full of character, spirit and work ethic, and then the quality out there takes care of the rest.”