Andy Butler has warned Sheffield United’s League One rivals that Nigel Clough’s side possess the mental toughness to flourish in the derby-strewn division next season, writes James Shield.
With neighbours Chesterfield, Barnsley and Doncaster Rovers also set to battle it out for a place in the Championship, United are bracing themselves for a gruelling campaign containing six all-South Yorkshire fixtures.
However Butler, who was officially unveiled at Bramall Lane yesterday after completing his move from Walsall, told The Star that Clough’s squad is perfectly equipped to stamp its authority on English football’s third tier.
“It’s going to be fiercely competitive but we’ve got the characters to cope with that,” Butler said. “Without a shadow of a doubt.
“People like Michael Doyle and Neill Collins are really streetwise, Chris Porter too. I know because I’ve played against them enough times in the past and I’m just glad they’re on my side now.
“You need that edge, that nasty streak out there on the pitch if you like, to do the business. I can’t wait to be a part of that and hopefully help bring even more experience and knowledge to the table.”
United were languishing in 21st place when Clough was appointed eight months ago but enjoyed a remarkable upturn in fortunes under the 48-year-old, finishing in seventh place and reaching the semi-finals of the FA Cup.
Butler added: “The one thing you need in this division is consistency and the run the lads went on last season was brilliant. The plans the manager has got for this place are really impressive and should help us build on that.
“Momentum is really important and this is a massive football club. I can’t wait to get started.”