Sheffield United: Defender opens a window into The Blades' dressing room

Some will sit in silence. Others might begin shouting expletives or offer more erudite encouragement.

Friday, 4th October 2019, 4:04 pm
Updated Friday, 4th October 2019, 6:23 pm
Enda Stevens has revealed what it is like inside Sheffield United's dressing room: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

Sheffield United's first team squad is comprised of many different characters. But, as Enda Stevens explained ahead of tomorrow's visit to Watford, their personalities blend together to make one very powerful unit.

"There are different types of people," the wing-back said, opening a window into United's dressing room moments before a Premier League game. "Ones who want to talk and ones who don't. We have got a great balance in the squad. We are just all lads who want to play to the best of ability and do well.

"Plenty of people talk. Some people come in and start arguments saying that they want this better and that and others come in and calm it down and get everyone together. It is a good mix. We have all got respect of each other on the pitch to know that whatever someone's saying isn't personal. You only want the best for the team."

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Chris Wilder, the United manager, also provided an insight into the dynamic of a group which travelled to Hertfordshire 12th in the table. "Tough," was how he described it, revealing why he felt comfortable highlighting their mistakes during last weekend's defeat by Liverpool. Stevens, who delivered another superb performance against the reigning European champions, agreed with that assessment during ahead of the trip to Vicarage Road. But the wing-back, who will link-up with the Republic of Ireland immediately afterwards, insisted United's manager could have added the word 'love' too.

"He has belief in us and instills confidence and belief in us," Stevens said. "He probably believes more than us that we are good enough to be up there with best teams in league. He probably gets frustrated at little mistakes we're making. But he gives us all confidence in world to go out and play, and the belief."

The meeting with Watford, without a league win since April, represents a chance for United to release their frustration following the defeat by Jurgen Klopp's side. Performance-wise, they could take nothing but positives from the contest. But a couple of individual errors, one of which presented Liverpool with the only goal of the afternoon, saw United miss a wonderful opportunity to record arguably their best result of the season.

Still, as Wilder acknowledged once his disappointment had subsided, the way the fixture unfolded demonstrated his men can compete with the best in the division.

"We always had mentality, we had to be at top of game even in the Championship," Stevens said. "We always felt we had to be totally focused and driven and we have taken that into Premier League. On our day, we are a match for any team."

Other than the injured David McGoldrick, United are expected to have a near full-strength squad at their disposal against Watford. Billy Sharp's return from suspension - he was handed a three match ban after being sent-off against Southampton - has left Wilder with a decision to make in attack; particularly after watching several glaring opportunities go begging last time out. Despite praising the contributions of both Callum Robinson and Oli McBurnie - the latter's work-rate caused Liverpool's defence all manner of problems - Wilder highlighted his captain's finishing skills during Thursday's media briefing.

"The lads looking in who are close to playing are in with us and it is a tight-knit group," Stevens said. "There aren't any barriers there. We're just the one group."