'Everyone will be scared...' - Experienced Sheffield United man's unique insight into current mood in Blades camp

Sheffield United defender Chris Basham has admitted there remains a grey cloud hanging over the club, but insists that only he and his teammates can banish the early-season gloom.

Tuesday, 7th September 2021, 4:00 pm

The Blades are yet to pick up a win in this fledgling Championship campaign, following on from the misery of last season’s relegation from the Premier League.

Failure to refresh the squad properly until late in the transfer window prompted frustration amongst an already beleaguered fanbase – four players in total came in, with three of those in Conor Hourihane, Morgan Gibbs-White and Robin Olsen, arriving in the final couple of days and there have been concerns that their promotions hopes are already seriously under threat.

Basham acknowledges that performances haven’t been good enough so far and the mood in the camp is far from a happy one, simply due to the results.

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Chris Basham of Sheffield United challenges Karlan Grant of West Bromwich Albion during the Sky Bet Championship match at The Hawthorns. Simon Bellis / Sportimage

However, the 33-year-old believes the introduction of new players and extra time on the training pitch during the international break – all the more important after a COVID-disrupted pre-season – could help turn things back in the Blades’ favour.

“Coming away from the Luton game [I felt] we needed refreshed,” Basham told The Star. “We needed to get ourselves going again because we have been disappointed and I've been disappointed as a Sheffield United player for over a year and a bit now because our performances haven't been what we wanted them to be.

"Pre-season didn't help and Covid hasn't helped anybody so the excuses are there but we need to start performing on the football pitch and we are looking forward to doing that come Saturday against Peterborough.”

On how players are currently feeling, he added: “You get into a rut. I think not playing in front of the fans and the Bramall Lane faithful has affected a lot of the boys. We didn’t get results last year and then when Paul [Heckingbottom] took over we started to get a bit of a stride together and then coming in this year we didn’t get a full pre-season, or games to give us a bit of confidence apart from the 4-0 win over Doncaster.

"We didn't really have any games and we started the season with a little bit of the unknown and a bit of a grey cloud over us and that's something we need to just try and get rid of.

"Once we do that and once we get a few wins I'm sure everyone will be scared of the Sheffield United that they know can start pushing back up that league.

"That's what you want but morale is always going to be rocked and I would be lying if I said everybody's great. It's not, because we are not winning football matches and we are in the Championship as well.”

The break has offered that opportunity to refresh and reevaluate things at Shirecliffe which everyone at the club has used to their benefit, according to Basham.

He said: “I think it's been an important [break] because we got some lads over the line for the club's sake and for the fans to get a buzz about it that needed refreshed. We needed boys in, the manager went on about that, to help us out and to achieve what we all want to achieve.”