Sheffield United man outlines Premier League motivation after overcoming injury frustration

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Ben Osborn has revealed how the painful experience of relegation with Sheffield United is motivating him to help the Blades get back to the Premier League, after overcoming the injury frustration that has hampered his season so far.

Osborn was outlined in pre-season by boss Paul Heckingbottom as a player who could have a big campaign, and really challenge John Fleck for a place on the left of midfield.

As it transpired injury struck both down, with Osborn struggling with hamstring and ankle issues and Fleck only recently returning to the Blades squad after suffering a setback in his recovery from a fractured leg earlier in the season.

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Both men are expected to be part of the squad that travels to Millwall this weekend as United look to bounce back from Wednesday night’s painful defeat at home to third-placed Middlesbrough.

Michael Carrick’s side are United’s biggest current challengers for automatic promotion, and cut the gap between the two sides to seven points with a 3-1 victory at Bramall Lane.

And Osborn, who joined United after their promotion to the top-flight and helped them finish ninth before their painful relegation a season later, said: "That second season has been on my mind ever since it happened, to be honest.

Ben Osborn, Billy Sharp and John Fleck of Sheffield United: Darren Staples / SportimageBen Osborn, Billy Sharp and John Fleck of Sheffield United: Darren Staples / Sportimage
Ben Osborn, Billy Sharp and John Fleck of Sheffield United: Darren Staples / Sportimage

“I want to get back there and have another crack at it, especially with fans. To do it with Sheffield United would be amazing. The fans have been brilliant, 30,000 every week here. And we want those Premier League days back, definitely.”

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Osborn, who is out of contract at Bramall Lane in the summer, will hope to play his part in United’s 15 remaining league games, and their FA Cup clash with top-flight giants Tottenham Hotspur, as he looks to earn an extended stay at Bramall Lane after a 12-month extension in his deal was triggered last summer.

“The injury has not been ideal at all,” he admitted. “I thought I had a really good pre-season, it couldn't have really gone any better.

"Getting hit with a hamstring injury early on in the season was a bit of a blow and I did my ankle as well in the same thing.

"I managed to get myself back into the side before the World Cup but after the Huddersfield game I felt my hamstring again. I felt like I was just about getting back to full speed so to do it again was frustrating.

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"We've tried everything now and hopefully that's the end of the injury worries. There's still a lot of the season to play, I'm feeling good and hoping I can contribute as much as I can to help us get over the line.”

Osborn revealed United’s medical staff had taken a different approach to his latest hamstring issue, which he hopes will alleviate the issue once and for all.

“They were all similar issues,” the former Nottingham Forest man said. “The same hamstring injury kept recurring so I'd feel absolutely great and something would just trigger it.

“We've gone down a different route this time to hopefully make sure there's no more recurrences. And I'm feeling good at the moment, touch wood.”

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