ASKED whether Sheffield United will stay up this season, Johannes Ertl's reply was short, sharp and straight to the point. "Yes."
Today, when Micky Adams' side resume their Championship campaign with a game against Coventry City, the Austrian defender enjoys an early opportunity to help nudge them one step closer to survival.
Ertl, who could be joined at the back by new loan signings Joe Mattock and Shane Lowry, believes Adams' presence has reinvigorated the South Yorkshire club's season.
Citing the lifelong United's supporter's enthusiasm and uncompromising approach as important factors, the summer signing from Crystal Palace said: "The gaffer has got so much commitment for this job and, as a player, that is the most important thing. It rubs off on you and goes right the way through the squad.
"We've got an excellent team spirit here - you could see that with what we did against Doncaster Rovers - and as long as that remains intact then I've absolutely no doubt that we will be okay.
"When I came here it was to help drive the club forward. The minute I stepped through the doors the first time I could feel the size of the place and the history and learned about things like the 'Greasy Chip Butty' song. For me, it's stuff like that which makes us what we are.
"You can tell the gaffer feels the same. He wants exactly the same things as all of us."
United came from two goals down to snatch a last gasp draw against their local rivals earlier this month. Although Adams has expressed concerns about the ease with which his squad concede, he has also been quick to praise their "honesty" and "determination."
Ertl said: "I really enjoy the training sessions that the gaffer puts on. They are very intense but that is a good thing because, in my experience, that is what every single match in this division is like.
"It's important to do that because it means we take it into our games. You play as you train and so it can only be a good thing."
United travelled to the Midlands yesterday 21st in the table, one place above the relegation zone and 10 behind their latest opponents.
Coventry manager Aidy Boothroyd last night admitted he is not concerned by his club's quiet start to the transfer window.
"We've had no offers and there are no outgoings," he said. "There is no mad panic."
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