Sheffield United: Lane kid banks on Weir’s expertise

Jasper Johns enjoys David Weir's training methods. Picture: Martyn Harrison.
Jasper Johns enjoys David Weir's training methods. Picture: Martyn Harrison.
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Blades youngster Jasper Johns is confident David Weir’s management style will bring the best out of him at Bramall Lane.

Having worked at close quarters with Weir at Everton, Johns was already familiar with some of the Scot’s training ground methods before his move to United.

“David was the reserve team manager when I was there so I know how he works and he knows what I am capable of,” he told The Star. “David is very relaxed which is good as it makes you relax in training when you are doing his drills.

“It is up to me to work hard at my game and prove myself to him.”

Johns, one of Weir’s first United signings alongside Febian Brandy, Stephen McGinn and Sean McGinty, was released by Everton at the end of last season. The Stratford-born prospect struggled to force his way into the Premier League club’s first-team set-up.

“I was disappointed it didn’t work out at Everton because I had lived there for three years so I was gutted not to get anything at the end of it,” he admitted.

“When you are at a club the size of Everton, you can buy a player in any position so it is difficult for youngsters to get a look in. But I shrugged off the disappointment and moved on.”

After being shown the door by Everton, Johns had two unsuccessful trial spells at Wolverhampton Wanderers and Bournemouth. But the left-sided player refused to get downhearted by those two snubs and was eventually snapped up by United on a two-year deal in June.

“I know United are a big club in the wrong league,” he said. “I know there is a good team here and that they’ve come close to going up in the last two seasons.”

It didn’t take Johns long to make his presence felt in pre-season as he scored within seconds of coming on as a substitute in the Blades’ 3-1 victory at Bury.

Now Johns, who can be deployed at left-back or on the left wing, is determined to prove to Weir he is worthy of being included in his match-day squad. However, he was left out of their opening two fixtures at home to Notts County and Burton Albion.

“I know it is not going to be easy but my aim is to try and get in and around the first-team squad,” he said.

Weir is contemplating letting some of his younger players go out on loan, meaning Johns may be allowed to leave on a temporary basis to learn his trade elsewhere.