Sheffield United: Midfielder wants to ram former England star's words back down his throat
John Lundstram admits listening to criticism of Sheffield United's playing style has made him even more determined to help establish the club in the Premier League.
A number of pundits, including former England defender Danny Mills, have dismissed Chris Wilder's side since their promotion from the Championship with Garth Crooks, previously of Stoke City and Tottenham Hotspur, recently describing them as too "basic" to compete at the highest level.
Speaking ahead of tomorrow's game against Southampton, Lundstram believes climbing to 10th in the table has earned United more respect. But the midfielder, who was released by Everton as a youngster, explained why he is refusing to forget those comments.
"Maybe we are (getting a bit more respect)," Lundstram said. "Sometimes, I get the impression that people who were talking about us hadn't really watched us. The people who do watch us know we're a footballing team.
"You've got to try and use that, you've got to try and use it as fire. It's always been a big motivation for me, to prove people wrong after some of the set-backs I've had earlier in my career."
United entered the international break on the back of a draw against Chelsea, coming from two goals down to claim a share of the spoils against the six-time English champions. One of those on target, Republic of Ireland striker Callum Robinson, will undergo a late fitness test after sustaining a minor knock representing his country. Robinson's compatriot David McGoldrick is also a doubt after injuring himself playing for Mick McCarthy's side.
Citing results at Bramall Lane as being of critical importance, Lundstram said: "Home form is going to be big, games like this we've really got to go for it being at home. It's important our home form is really on point. Hopefully this is going to be another step in the right direction. We're going into this believing that we can get a result."
Ralph Hasenhüttl, Wilder's counterpart at St Mary's, has developed a reputation for innovative tactics since moving to England.
With United also proving pioneers in this field - their take on the 3-5-2 system has fascinated analysts and opponents alike - Lundstram added: "Foreign managers bring in different styles of play. But you've got to overcome it. I think a lot of teams need to worry about us more than we need to worry about them."