Sheffield United: 'It was difficult to recover from' - Phil Jagielka opens up about Blades' relegation from Premier League in 2007 as he admits he has unfinished business at Bramall Lane
Phil Jagielka, the Sheffield United defender, has opened up about his part in the Blades’ relegation from the Premier League in 2007 after admitting he has unfinished business at Bramall Lane.
Jagielka was a key man for United in the Premier League 12 years ago, but he unwittingly played a part in their relegation on the final day of the 2006/07 season when he was penalised for handball against Wigan. David Unsworth, his former United teammate, scored from the spot as United lost 2-1, and were subsequently relegated.
Jagielka went on to spend the next dozen years at Everton, and played for England, before sealing an emotional return to Bramall Lane this summer.
And, speaking to the BBC at a media day ahead of Saturday’s Premier League opener at AFC Bournemouth, Jagielka said: “The whole situation was difficult to recover from.
“I’ve tried not to think about it too much over the course of the last few years, but you can’t get away from it.
“We went down on goal difference and there were so many different goals that we shouldn’t have conceded… but I do feel I have unfinished business at United.
“We were unjustly relegated but it was a strange one for me, because it allowed me to go and have the career I had, in a strange sort of way.
“So it’s nice to come back, but it’ll only be nice if we’re having a conversation in ten months about United staying in the Premier League.
“That’s the whole aim… to keep this club in the division it deserves to be in.”