Kieron Freeman insists Sheffield United’s players will want to go out on a high when the curtain closes on their Championship season at Bristol City on Sunday.
United’s faint hopes of gatecrashing the play-offs were ended last Saturday with a 1-0 defeat at home to Preston, which saw Freeman make his first start since mid-October when he dislocated his knee in a collision with teammate Cameron Carter-Vickers.
And although they have nothing to play for, Freeman pointed to last season’s 100-point League One title-winning campaign as evidence that he and his Blades teammates will not be easing off.
“I think we showed that last season,” the 26-year-old said. “We won the league with time to spare and still went on to get 100 points. It’s in our nature to keep going, from the manager down to the players. He instills that in us; it doesn’t matter if it’s a pre-season game or the last game of the season, we want to go out there and win it.”
The sight of Freeman, who scored 11 goals from right back last season, on the United teamsheet was one of the few positives of the afternoon for United.
“I enjoyed it,” Freeman said. “It’s been a long time. It wasn’t the result we wanted but I thought we deserved the win. But that’s football.
“The lads have been tremendous this season and it’s been a pleasure to watch. The big thing about us is that we are a team, and the lads have been excellent.
“The gaffer [Chris Wilder] always wants to improve and so do we as players. We’re at it every day in training and we’re only going to get better. I think the boys coped well with the pressure of expectations changing all of a sudden when we went top of the league, and it’s been a great season.
“We can take a lot of positives from this into next year.”