Sheffield United midfielder Florent Cuvelier has thanked manager Nigel Adkins for helping him through the darkest period of his career.
The Belgian midfielder, whose stay at Bramall Lane has been plagued by injury, started a match for the first time in over at Rochdale last weekend.
Despite watching his team come under fire after being beaten 2-0, Adkins has a staunch ally in Cuvelier after nursing the former under-21 international back to fitness.
“When you are injured, if you have a manager who sits you down and tells you ‘if you ever have a problem or are feeling down, then come and see me’, it gives you a big boost of confidence and makes you want to come back as fast as you can,” Cuvelier said.
“I feel really attached to Sheffield United and, even though I’ve not played anywhere near as much as I would have liked, I love this place and want to help the club get back to where at the very least it should be, which is the Championship.”
United hopes of reaching the League One play-offs suffered a jolt at Spotland as, after they had dominated for long periods, second-half goals from substitutes Peter Vincenti and Grant Holt propelled Keith Hill’s side to their first ever victory over the visitors from South Yorkshire.
Adkins’ squad return to action when Burton Albion, now managed by his predecessor Nigel Clough, make the journey north tomorrow and Cuvelier, who was twice loaned out by the 49-year-old, said: “It’s been the hardest time of my life, I’m not going to deny it.
“I’ve been close at times and then broken down again. All I want to do now is play my heart out for Sheffield United. You need to stay extremely strong mentally.
“The physios here, and people close to me, I want to thank them as well.”