Sheffield United: The player Slavisa Jokanovic says The Blades should be 'very proud' of

Slavisa Jokanovic says Sheffield United should be “proud” of John Egan after he captained the Republic of Ireland during the international break, despite admitting he wished the centre-half had enjoyed a rest ahead of their Championship clash with Stoke City.

Friday, 15th October 2021, 12:11 pm

Egan won his 18th and 19th caps during the latest pause in the domestic fixture schedule, and was handed the armband by Stephen Kenny for last weekend’s World Cup qualifier against Azerbaijan.

With that match being staged in Baku, Egan then featured during the Republic’s friendly against Qatar in Dublin on Tuesday before beginning his preparations for tomorrow’s match at Bramall Lane.

“Listen, I prefer John (had) played a bit less because he completed all of the minutes (for Ireland),” admitted Jokanovic. “He has not had a break. But from another side we need to be proud of him, very proud of him, for being skipper of the team. That is a big honour for him and I understand why.”

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Having completed the 6,504 mile round trip from Dublin to the Azeri capital, Egan is expected to take part in his 16th match of the season when Michael O’Neill’s fourth-placed side visit South Yorkshire.

“He has been skipper here and is a very experienced guy,” said Jokanovic, whose team are in 14th. “He has a lot of personality and character so he will be okay, I’m sure.

"He knows what to do and is a very good player. He has shown those qualities and that willingness to fight which you need.”

Sheffield United manager Slavisa Jokanovic: Darren Staples / Sportimage
John Egan is set to feature for Sheffield United against Stoke City: Simon Bellis / Sportimage