Mark Duffy is convinced Sheffield United will be a Premier League club when his new contract, which runs until 2020, expires.
The midfielder, who is chasing his third promotion in as many seasons after helping Chris Wilder’s side reach sixth in the Championship table, signed the agreement ahead of Saturday’s FA Cup fourth round tie against Preston North End at Bramall Lane.
Asked if United can maintain their challenge for the top-flight during the second-half of the campaign, Duffy said: “That’s the plan. I’ve signed for two and a half years so I’ll be here that long and hopefully I’ll be playing my football in the next division.
“Sheffield United are right at the top of all my clubs.
“I’m enjoying my football more than ever and we’re on the right path to where we want to be.
“Actually, we’re a little bit disappointed with our position because we feel we could be higher. With that mentality, though, it shows we are on the right track.”
Duffy, aged 32, moved to Bramall Lane two years ago and was a key member of the squad that cruised to the League One title last term.
Having helped Burton Albion reach the second tier of English football before joining Wilder’s team, he cemented his place in United folklore by scoring a memorable goal during September’s 4-2 victory over Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough.
“The size of the club, it should never have been where it was,” Duffy, who has also represented Birmingham City, Doncaster Rovers and Scunthorpe, said. “I remember playing United when I was at Burton Albion and they were a shadow of what the teams here were in the past.
“Hopefully, we’ve helped give the club back to the fans, back to the city.
“All they want is to see someone giving 100 per cent and, if we do that, then our ability can shine through.”
Duffy becomes the latest in a long line of players, including Billy Sharp, Jack O’Connell and John Fleck, to be awarded an improved contract in recent months.
“I’m absolutely over the moon, ever since I’ve been here it’s good times,” he added.
“With the players that we’ve got, the manager and the staff, this club is on the up and it’s somewhere you want to be.
“I had 18 months left but the club came to me and said they wanted to extend that so I was delighted.”