Sheffield United: Slavisa Jokanovic pays tribute to Ben Davies' influence ahead of emotional reunion with Preston North End

Slavisa Jokanovic says Ben Davies’ assured performances on the pitch reflect his personality off it as the centre-half prepares for Sheffield United’s match against his former club Preston North End.

By James Shield
Monday, 13th September 2021, 10:29 pm

After recovering from the foot injury which forced him to miss last weekend’s win over Peterborough, Davies is expected to return to the starting eleven for tomorrow’s meeting with Frankie McAvoy’s side.

On loan from Liverpool, the 26-year-old spent more than a decade at Deepdale before moving to Anfield earlier this year.

Jokanovic, who has credited Davies and fellow new arrivals Morgan Gibbs-White and Conor Hourihane with lifting morale among his squad following its challenging start to the campaign, said: “Ben is experienced, he plays good football and he is definitely in position to be an option.

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Sheffield, UK, 16th August 2021. Ben Davies signs for Sheffield United on a season long loan from Liverpool pictured at Bramall Lane, Sheffield. Picture date: 16th August 2021. Picture credit should read: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

“Ben plays his football like his personality is. He is calm and, although I know this is the wrong word, sometimes a cold man. He shows these personality traits when he is playing his football.”

United enter the meeting with North End hoping to build on Saturday's result; their first victory in the Championship since being relegated last term. Jokanovic, who officially started work at Bramall Lane in July despite being appointed a month earlier, stressed United’s performance en route to a 6-2 victory proves what his squad is capable of when they “believe in themselves.”

“Ben, like some others, has no charge from the past with this club,” Jokanovic added. “I think, bringing the fresh faces in, it has brought more out of and helped everyone as we thought it would, because it brings a challenge.”