FORMER Sheffield United favourite Jordan Slew has spent the past week evading the press with the same determination which once threatened to make him the scourge of opposition defences at Bramall Lane.
Lee Williamson, however, has proven impossible to give the slip and last night predicted the youngster will have no qualms about putting the boot into his old club’s promotion hopes should the opportunity arise.
Speaking ahead of tomorrow’s League One encounter with Stevenage, who signed Slew on loan earlier this term following his controversial move to Blackburn Rovers, the United midfielder said: “I still keep in touch with Jordan. We speak on Blackberry Messenger and stuff like that.
“He’s a very good player. He’s a professional too so if a chance comes his way then he’ll want to take it.
“I think that pretty much goes without saying. He’ll be determined to do well.”
Nevertheless Slew, preparing to engage his former employers for the first time since completing a £1.1 million transfer to Ewood Park, could find himself in an unenviable position if his services are called upon by Stevenage manager Gary Smith.
Should second-placed United win then the 19-year-old’s presence will remain a footnote in the story of what has already been an unforgettable season.
But if he helps the visitors prevail, the one-time darling of the United crowd could instead be cast as a devil.
Little wonder this softly-spoken teenager has shied away from the media during a the build-up to a contest which is pivotal for both sides.
“How you leave a club usually dictates whether you go back wanting to prove a point or not,” Williamson said. “Jordan got his move and good luck to him because he deserves to do well.
“It might not have gone quite as well as he’d have liked initially but I’m sure he’ll be a success.
“But it goes without saying I don’t want him to have any here.”
Slew, who has yet to score for Stevenage, netted three goals in nine starts for his boyhood club before Rovers spirited him across the Pennines seven months ago.
The deal raised eyebrows in some quarters – especially as both United manager Danny Wilson and academy director John Pemberton had both urged him to stay – but Slew, who won two caps at under-19 level for England, made his top-flight debut against Manchester United in December.
Having found opportunities in short supply at Rovers, he put pen to paper on a temporary deal with Stevenage in January.
United’s latest opponents, who triumphed in the corresponding fixture at The Lamex Stadium earlier this term, head north in sixth following a run of three straight wins.
Williamson said: “Unfortunately I missed the game at their place so I’m quite excited about this one because I’ve never played Stevenage before.
“I know a few of their lads - Chris Beardsley, Patrick Agyemang and Slewy of course - and they’re a big strong team.
“Our only focus, though, is
getting the three points because the main thing is the ball is in our court.”