Ethan Ampadu, on loan at Sheffield United from Chelsea, is still pinning his hopes on a sporting miracle ahead of Arsenal clash

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Ethan Ampadu has insisted he will continue to believe in miracles right up until the moment Sheffield United’s fate is mathematically confirmed, arguing it is in the make-up of every professional footballer to fight to the bitter end.

Having prepared for Sunday’s meeting with Arsenal at the bottom of the Premier League table and 15 points from safety, the Wales international accepted the club he joined on loan at the beginning of the season already has one foot in the Championship.

After losing all but six of their last 30 outings in the competition, not even United’s most optimistic of supporters are expecting them to complete what would be the greatest escape act in the history of the sport.

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“It’s almost certain, but it’s not certain is it,” Ampadu said. “We might need a miracle but miracles can happen and we’ve got to take that into this game with us. That’s just the way you’ve got to be made. It’s the way you have to look at things and approach it.

Ethan Ampadu picks the ball out of the net at Leeds last weekend: Laurence Griffiths/Getty ImagesEthan Ampadu picks the ball out of the net at Leeds last weekend: Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images
Ethan Ampadu picks the ball out of the net at Leeds last weekend: Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

“All of the anger, frustration and hurt that we’re feeling, we can turn that into a performance. We need to be channeling that, and using it in a positive way to do something good.”

Ampadu, aged 20, has experienced pretty much every possible scenario he is likely to encounter during the rest of his career since arriving from Chelsea at the beginning of the campaign. Other than how to stay level headed when results are going your way of course.

Required to master the complexities of Chris Wilder’s take on the 3-5-2 system, the defender then saw the manager responsible for signing him depart following the breakdown of his relationship with United’s ownership. While that was deteriorating, culminating in a very bitter and public divorce last month, Ampadu and his team mates were being forced to contend with listening to folk question their top-flight credentials both on the television and over the airwaves.

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“It’s the biggest season I’ve had as a professional footballer,” Ampadu, who completed a spell in the Bundesliga with RB Leipzig last term, said. “I’ve learnt things from all of the lads here, so I’m not going to mention just one because then I’d be leaving all of the others out.

“I’ve had everything chucked at me, and it’s been a real journey. Probably the biggest thing this has taught me, all of us, is how ruthless the Premier League is - every single mistake gets punished. Every single one, so that has been a real lesson.

“Obviously I wish we weren’t where we are. I’ve not enjoyed that, obviously. But I do enjoy being around the lads and am really grateful for the things they’ve passed on ever since I came in.”

“The thing I was always told before coming here, what I could see and what everybody else mentioned, was how hard-working this group is,” Ampadu continued. “That’s definitely the case.

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“That’s why we go into every single match believing and thinking we can do something, because of that approach and mindset. It’s the way it has to be. There is no other way you should be approaching a situation like this.”