Richard Stearman has identified the secret of Sheffield United’s success as he prepares to face his former club Fulham at Craven Cottage tonight.
The centre-half, who moved to Bramall Lane during the close season, cited Chris Wilder’s desire to smash the Championship’s status quo as a key factor behind their impressive results since lifting the League One title last term.
Drawing comparison’s between the United manager’s approach and the moribund tactics Fulham’s neighbours Chelsea employed during Sunday’s defeat by Manchester City, Stearman said: “Enjoyment obviously helps. If you had watched Chelsea, that wasn’t enjoyable for them. We enjoy the way that we play and has proved successful.
“I think it gives you an extra few per cent as well; if you are enjoying what you are doing. We certainly do on the pitch and in the dressing room and training ground and long may that continue.”
United could climb back into the play-off positions if they beat Slaviša Jokanović fourth-placed side. Although Stearman is aware of the threat posed by Aleksandar Mitrović and teenager Ryan Sessegnon - “He actually made a few squads while I was at the club and we had to pull him out of school” - he said: “We have got to impose ourselves as well. They obviously play a very attractive style of football and we like to think we do as well. We have got
“The way we play is quite unique and has caused a lot of teams problems in this division. They are possibly one of the best footballing teams in this league along with Wolves and possibly ourselves. It should pose for an attractive game.
“I love the style and it suits my game; getting the ball down and playing it about is very exciting to be a part of and has proved quite successful for us and long may that continue.”