Chris Basham has revealed Sheffield United’s players are scared to get injured because competition is so fierce within Chris Wilder’s squad.
Speaking ahead of today’s meeting with Shrewsbury Town, which could stretch United’s unbeaten League One run to 13 games, the midfielder admitted his team mates fear missing a game will condemn them to a long spell on the sidelines.
“When you go on a run like this, everyone’s confident and no-one wants to step out of the team,” Basham said. “Everyone brings what they can.
“There’s no way you want to drop out because, the chances are, you’re not going to get straight back in again. I was really lucky when it happened to me.”
Basham missed three matches due to suspension earlier this season. But, when Jack O’Connell was taken ill before last month’s 3-0 victory over Shrewsbury at Greenhous Meadow, he was immediately recalled.
“It was fortunate on my part,” Basham continued. “Otherwise, with the way Jack had been going, I might have been forced to sit things out for a while.
“That’s the way it is at the moment. And, if the lads are winning, then how can you complain?”
United climbed to third in the table when they beat Chesterfield 4-1 last weekend. Shrewsbury are 23rd but unbeaten since appointing Paul Hurst as manager 27 days ago.
“We’re buzzing, even coming into training at the moment,” Basham said. “But the quick turnaround means they (Shrewsbury) are going to be really up for this one.
“They’ll want to get one over on us, without a shadow of a doubt. But, equally, we want to keep the run going on. We don’t want to give that up.”
Jack Grimmer, Shrewsbury’s on-loan defender, admitted Hurst’s side are travelling north intent on smashing United’s recent record.
“We don’t want to just go and just take part, we want to go there and lay a glove on them,” he said. “It’s well documented the goals they’re scoring.
“We’re under no illusions about what sort of test it’ll be and we’ll need things to go for us. To go there and do well will give you more belief.”
But Basham admitted United are prepared to stand toe to toe with the visitors.
“Everyone knows what they are doing,” he said. “Where to put the ball for (Billy) Sharp or (Leon) Clarke who has been brilliant since he came back (from injury).”