Steel City Derby: 'Sheffield United will give everything against Wednesday, no matter what the result' says Blades star Basham

No matter what the result, however tomorrow's Steel City derby unfolds, Chris Basham can guarantee every single Sheffield United player will be giving everything for the cause.

Wednesday, 10th January 2018, 12:42 pm
Updated Wednesday, 10th January 2018, 12:45 pm
Leon Clarke scored twice in the last Steel City Derby

Because, as he explains, manager Chris Wilder and his staff have pieced together a squad which truly cares about the club.

“The gaffer brings in who he wants,” Basham says. “But they have to be the right characters, they have to be the right type of player who is ready to join the group. That’s the most important thing here, the group and the team. It’s far more important than any individual.”

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Basham, the United defender, is perfectly placed to comment given his experiences at Bramall Lane. Having arrived in South Yorkshire four years ago, the highs of last season’s League One title winning campaign followed some stomach-churning lows. But Basham, a member of the squad which finished 11th in the third tier under Wilder’s predecessor Nigel Adkins, insists those disappointments only strengthened his connection with United where, together with captain Billy Sharp, he is among the most influential members of their dressing room.

Highlighting the performances of Cameron Carter-Vickers and Jamal Blackman during September’s 4-2 win at Hillsborough, Basham says: “We have got lads on loan from Tottenham and Chelsea, but they’ve really bought in to the place, taken on board how we do things, and that speaks volumes for me. They’ve come in from big clubs in their own right, from the Premier League, but they’ve fitted right in. That’s down to their personalities and also the ability of the gaffer and his staff to identify the right characters.”

Basham, previously of Bolton Wanderers and Blackpool, highlights the fact neither Carter-Vickers or Blackman are guaranteed a start during the return fixture with Sheffield Wednesday as another strength.

“It’s great we’ve got such a close knit group. Those lads help push the gaffer in his decisions and often, when you come in on loan, it’s written that you’ve got to play. But the gaffer isn’t like that. If your performances drop, you won’t get picked. It tells you a lot those lads agreed to it because others would be looking for a different deals.”

Although attitude is important, United boast plenty of ability too. Combining both will be vitally important in a fixture which tests both a player’s mental and physical strength like no other.

“We’ll always have a go, no matter what,” Basham says. “That’s what the manager here demands and I think the fans enjoy it too.”

Get your copy of Thursday's Sheffield Star for a free 16-page supplement previewing Friday evening's Steel City Derby at Bramall Lane.