Sheffield United: Why perfect teammate Chris Basham has extra motivation to perform for Blades

During his spell on the Sheffield United sidelines, Chris Basham tried to do all he could to be a perfect teammate.

Thursday, 25th November 2021, 7:21 am

But by his own admission, nothing compares to being out there yourself – and now the Blades veteran is doubly determined to show why he should never have been left out in the first place.

Basham was simply the victim of Slavisa Jokanović’s decision to abandon the 3-5-2 system that had brought United – and Basham – so much success since it was adopted by the Serb’s predecessor Chris Wilder back in League One.

But an injury to Ben Davies – and Jokanović’s decision to revert to the back three in United’s last few games – opened the door for Basham, whose return to the side has been welcomed by fans and teammates alike.

Sign up to our Sheffield United newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

“It's fantastic,” Basham said of being back in the starting XI.

“I was desperate to get back. The manager showed some belief in me and Davo got injured, so there was a chance for me to step in there and try and regain my place again.

“Nothing against Davo, that's just how football is. You have to try and get back in as soon as possible and play.

Chris Basham (centre) leads the applause of Sheffield United's travelling supporters after victory at Reading (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

“I was trying to be a good supporter on the bench, do my best for the team, try and be someone they could rely on, but I'm back in the team now and trying to show why I shouldn't have been dropped in the first place.”

Despite being one of the biggest beneficiaries of United’s back three system – the right centre-half position giving him a new lease of life – Basham admitted he “thoroughly enjoyed” playing in a defensive two alongside John Egan during Davies’ spell on the sidelines.

“But we conceded goals, which has been the downfall of it,” Basham added.

“So I think going back to a five has made us more structured. Everybody understands their positions and we’ve looked good. Hopefully we can carry that on.”

After Tuesday night’s victory at Reading, United return to Championship action this Sunday when they take on Bristol City at Bramall Lane, with the game kicking off at 12.30pm.