Defender John Egan says Sheffield United's squad are behind 'Project Restart' and "hungry" to play Premier League football

Sheffield United centre-half John Egan has confirmed he is ready to play Premier League football next month, despite hearing several of the game’s biggest names claim they fear for their safety if the fixture suspension is lifted too soon.

Wednesday, 13th May 2020, 6:01 pm

Chris Wilder’s side were seventh in the table when the season was mothballed nine weeks ago because of the coronavirus pandemic, but plans have been unveiled to resume the season on June 12 subject to the relevant approvals.

Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero and Danny Rose, the Newcastle defender, are among those to criticise the speed with which authorities are seeking to kickstart competition.

But after The Star reported Wilder is confident the overwhelming majority of his squad are prepared to follow the timetable set out by the governing body, Egan said: “We want to be back. It (football) is our bread and butter.

Sign up to our Sheffield United newsletter

“The Premier League will have advice from specialists and experts and I trust them and the club to come up with a way of doing it that is safe.

“Speaking to the lads, the general consensus is that they want to finish the league. We’re hungry to get out there again.”

With 10 games of their league campaign remaining and only five points separating them from fourth-placed Chelsea, United, who have a match in hand on Frank Lampard’s team, were mounting a serious challenge for Champions League qualification before the lockdown was announced.

After being promoted from the Championship last term, Wilder’s men have also reached the quarter-finals of the FA Cup - which offers an route into the Europa League - where they are scheduled to face Arsenal.

Sheffield United defender John Egan, pictured in action against Brighton and Hove Albion, says his team mates are ready to return to Premier League action: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

United partially reopened the doors of their Steelphalt Academy training complex last month, after introducing a series of social distancing and hygiene measures to try and prevent an outbreak of the respiratory disease.

Asked if he felt those were sufficient, Egan said: “I trust the doctors, the Premier League and I trust the club. They want to do it really safely.

“I’ve seen supermarkets where they’re trying to do the right thing but can’t because of people in there. Here, everything is so controlled and organised.”

An important message:

In order for us to continue to provide high quality and trusted local news, please purchase a copy of our newspapers or subscribe to

The coronavirus lockdown is having a major impact on many of our local advertisers - and consequently the advertising that we receive. That means we are more reliant than ever on you helping us to provide you with news and information.

Our journalists are highly trained and our content is independently regulated by IPSO to some of the most rigorous standards in the world. But being your eyes and ears comes at a price. So we need your support more than ever to buy our newspapers and subscribe to our website during this crisis.

Stay safe and take care. Thank you. James.