Alex Baptiste has warned Sheffield United’s rivals he will fight tooth and nail to ensure his season from hell finishes on a positive note by helping Nigel Adkins’ team reach the League One play-offs.
And the defender, signed on emergency loan from Middlesbrough earlier this month, told The Star his experiences at former club Blackpool demonstrate why it would be a mistake to rubbish their top six hopes.
Baptiste, who has made only two appearances this term after suffering a horrific leg injury on the eve of the present campaign, was a member of the squad which delivered top-flight football to Bloomfield Road in 2010.
“I haven’t come here just to make the numbers up,” he said. “I’ve had a tough six months, I ain’t going out this season like that. It’s going to be all guns blazing.
“There’s a lot of pent up frustration and I want to take it out in the right way. I know what it takes to grind and dig things out. We’re not a million miles off so we’ve still got a great chance.”
Baptiste, who returned to training with Middlesbrough six weeks before joining United, added: “I’m not going to lie, mentally getting over the injury was tough. I remember looking down at my leg when it happened and thinking ‘what’s going on there? That doesn’t look good.’ But, now I have got over it, psychologically I’m much stronger now.”
United enter Saturday’s game against Oldham Athletic 12th in the table and trailing sixth-placed Barnsley by six points.
Baptiste said: “Don’t ever write anyone off. We were in same position at Blackpool, didn’t look like going up and then went on an amazing run and got in the play-offs with momentum.
“We were favourites to go down at the start (of the season) but we won them and went-up. A lot of people will be writing us off here now but one win leads to another.”