Sheffield United: Richard Stearman vows to always put others before himself as The Blades chase promotion
Richard Stearman believes Sheffield United sent a message to the rest of the Championship by beating fellow Premier League hopefuls Middlesbrough, as Chris Wilder's side prepares for this weekend’s showdown with Reading.
United moved to within two points of the automatic promotion places following last night’s victory over Tony Pulis' side, despite seeing their preparations disrupted by injury and suspension.
After surrendering a three goal lead during their draw at Aston Villa five days earlier, Stearman described his team mates' response as a statement of intent.
"It's vitally important you beat the teams around you," Stearman, who scored the winning goal, said. "You've got to send a message out and show that you mean business.
"I thought that win was huge for us, especially after dropping a couple of points. It was important to bounce back and we did that."
With Chris Basham serving the second game of a two match ban and Jack O'Connell struggling with a hamstring problem, Stearman could make only his 14th appearance of the season against the visitors from Berkshire.
A regular starter last term, the former Fulham and Wolverhampton Wanderers centre-half has spent most of the campaign on the bench but said: "You saw the frustration come out when I scored. It's been a tough season for myself personally but I've get my head down and supported the lads.
"That's what you've got to do, it's not about 11 players, and I've got to be ready when called upon."
"I know my role in the team, I've tried to support the other lads in my position, and I'll always do that," Stearman added. "Hopefully, be it in the team or off the bench, I'll always do my bit to try and help us get across the line. That's my focus, the group."