Sheffield United: Slavisa Jokanovic outlines what could decide next season's battle for promotion
Sheffield United’s players have been told trust could hold the key to their chances of making an immediate return to the Premier League, as new manager Slavisa Jokanovic begins the process of repairing his squad’s self-belief following last term’s relegation.
Despite refusing to be drawn on whether United should be counted among the favourites to secure a top two finish, the Serb did admit to being impressed by the quality of the options at his disposal during Friday’s official unveiling at Bramall Lane.
But confidence could be an issue behind the scenes, following a wretched campaign which saw United surrender their membership of English football’s most prestigious club.
Jokanovic, who is attempting to persuade both Sander Berge and Aaron Ramsdale to remain in South Yorkshire next season after attracting admiring glances from Arsenal, Jokanovic said: “I believe they have quality and I will give them trust.
“If they trust in themselves and trust in their team mates, and I have enough knowledge to help them do that, then that is how I can help take the team in a good direction. That is how we can take the work that we do in a good direction.”
Jokanovic’s words echo those of Paul Heckingbottom who served as United’s caretaker manager between March and May, that the battle for promotion from the Championship could be decided as much by what happens “between the ears” as on the pitch.
Jokanovic will attempt to hammer home his message during this week’s rearranged training camp, after United were forced to scrap a planned visit to Portugal because of government travel restrictions imposed because of Covid-19.