Forget the future - Jamal Blackman’s focus is all on Sheffield United’s promotion push

Jamal Blackman of Sheffield Utd collets the ball under pressure from Daryl Murphy of Nottingham Forest. Simon Bellis/Sportimage
Jamal Blackman of Sheffield Utd collets the ball under pressure from Daryl Murphy of Nottingham Forest. Simon Bellis/Sportimage
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On-loan goalkeeper Jamal Blackman will postpone discussions about his future until the end of the season after revealing he wants to focus on Sheffield United’s push for back to back promotions instead.

Despite signing a new long-term contract with Chelsea before joining Chris Wilder side eight months ago, United’s manager has suggested the 24-year-old could be offered a permanent move to Bramall Lane if he becomes surplus to requirements at Stamford Bridge.

Chris Wilder manager of Sheffield Utd on the touchline against Nottingham Forest. Simon Bellis/Sportimage

Chris Wilder manager of Sheffield Utd on the touchline against Nottingham Forest. Simon Bellis/Sportimage

Speaking after last weekend’s draw with Nottingham Forest, Blackman refused to rule-out the possibility of remaining in South Yorkshire beyond the end of the campaign but said: “We all try and play in the here and now. That’s what I am doing, especially after coming back from an injury.

“Trying to get back in the team has been my main focus, getting in the play-offs, and trying to do the best I can this season. Then we will see what happens after that.”

Blackman, aged 24, embellished his burgeoning reputation by making a series of fine saves during the stalemate with Aitor Karanka’s side. Although meeting Chelsea’s valuation of the former FA Youth Cup winner would prove problematic unless United reach the top-flight themselves, Wilder has indicated he will investigate the possibility of brokering an agreement if Blackman continues to impress.

United, who lifted the League One title last term, are two points outside the Championship’s play-off positions with eight games remaining after being held by Forest.

“That’s my main goal,” Blackman said. “Trying to get us to where we want to be and I believe we’ve got the qualities to do it.”

Meanwhile, Wilder explained Chris Basham missed Saturday’s match to attend the birth of his child.

“Bash got a call in the morning and dashed straight up to Newcastle,” he said. “Congratulations to him and his family. It’s great for him and his missus although obviously it meant we had a bit of reorganising to do. We’ve got a little Bash in the world now and that’s one smile that came out of the afternoon for me.”