Sheffield United: 'The boss has made me a much better player' says international defender, as he hails Slavisa Jokanovic's impact
Sheffield United defender John Egan has hailed Slavisa Jokanovic’s impact since being appointed manager, predicting the impact of his work will become apparent as the season unfolds.
Insisting every single member of Bramall Lane’s first team squad has improved thanks to the Serb’s teaching, Egan revealed there is now a genuine belief among his team mates that they can return to the Premier League after being relegated earlier this year.
Attributing United’s confidence to Jokanovic’s work behind the scenes, Egan said: “He’s a top manager. No doubt about it. If you could see how much everybody here has improved, you’d be really impressed. That’s why we’re all really excited.”
Despite making a slow start to life under Jokanovic, who officially took charge of the club in July, United were steadily climbing the Championship table until defeats to Middlesbrough and AFC Bournemouth curbed their progress before the international break.
However Egan, who captained the Republic of Ireland against Azerbaijan last weekend, insisted the performance United delivered when they faced the league leaders at the Vitality Stadium a fortnight ago confirmed they are also equipped to challenge.
After hearing the usually phlegmatic Jokanovic blame that loss on poor refereeing, Egan said: “We don’t fear anyone and we showed what we are capable of against Bournemouth. The decisions just didn’t go our way.
“There’s a lot of experience in this group and it doesn’t happen overnight. You have to earn it. Every single game, we feel like we can win.”
United return to action when fourth placed Stoke City visit South Yorkshire this afternoon. Six points outside of the play-off positions, Egan acknowledged United must start translating their performances in training into results on the pitch. But he is adamant Jokanovic will build upon the work of his predecessor Chris Wilder, who twice won promotion before leaving in March.
“The manager, he is a really good coach and he takes lots of the sessions,” he said. “You learn something every day. He’s improved me a lot, both on and off the ball. He’s big on the little details and that’s one of the reasons why I’m really enjoying it so much.”