Sheffield United: Why The Blades' attacking policy makes perfect sense

Kean Bryan wouldn't say defending is becoming impossible. But, acknowledging that football's lawmakers now seem intent on giving centre-forwards the benefit of the doubt, he believes Sheffield United are right to try and attack the Premier League next season.

Wednesday, 7th August 2019, 19:40 pm
Updated Wednesday, 7th August 2019, 23:00 pm
Kean Bryan: James Wilson/Sportimage

"They'll always be a place for us," the centre-half said. "We've just got to do things a little bit differently, maybe a bit cleverer than we were in the past. Us lads at the back, we always have a laugh with the forwards about how they have it easy, that everything gets set up for them. But, joking aside, we'll just keep on doing what we're doing even if that means, like everyone else, you've got adapt."

United's return to the top-flight is a big deal for Bryan on a host of different levels. Collectively, after joining the club from Manchester City at the beginning of last term, is delighted for his team mates who helped deliver promotion from the Championship. Personally, after seeing injury and illness force him to watch the majority of their matches from the stands, he is determined to ensure this is also his breakthrough season at Bramall Lane.

"It was difficult for me because I was desperate to get out there to try and help," Bryan, speaking ahead of Saturday's visit to AFC Bournemouth, said. "But it seemed to be one thing after the other to begin with and then I was always playing catch up. The boys did great and it was brilliant watching them. But, like every player, I wanted to be out there and involved."

"I still tried to put the time to good use though," Bryan continued. "I'm someone who likes to study what's going on and then go home to run through the videos and all that. You can learn a lot from it and the boys here, especially those in my position, have taught me a lot."

Sign up to our Sheffield United newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Encouraged by the fact he has enjoyed a prominent role in United's preparations for the new campaign - their first at the highest level for 12 years - Bryan is now hoping to retain his place in Wilder's matchday squads.

"I love it here, how the manager wants us to play but also compete properly," the 22-year-old said. "Because that side of it, the competing part, is integral to football and always will be. It's a physical, contact sport. The best sides - and the boys showed this last season - do both."