Why Slavisa Jokanovic thinks it is "crucial" that Sheffield United fans can return to Bramall Lane as Blades prepare for promotion tilt next season

Slavisa Jokanović, the Sheffield United manager, says it is “crucial” for the Blades to play in front of their supporters again after the prime minister gave the green light for fans to return to Bramall Lane when the new season begins next month.

Wednesday, 7th July 2021, 4:22 pm

Jokanović officially took charge of United last week, five weeks after being appointed and just before Boris Johnson’s announcement that he expects all social distancing restrictions to be lifted on the delayed ‘Freedom Day’ of July 19.

That has opened the door for fans to return to Bramall Lane in great numbers for the first time since March 2020, when United beat Norwich City to keep up their push for Europe before the Covid-19 pandemic forced football to go behind closed doors.

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“It's crucial for us to have fans back in the stadium,” Jokanović, the former Watford and Fulham manager, told The Star. “They give Sheffield United such a push. Me and my players need this kind of support.

“It [Sheffield] is a noisy city, and Bramall Lane is a typical English stadium with a great atmosphere. I hope they are happy I am here but they are not a principal supporter of me, they are a supporter of their club and there are generations of supporters of this club. I know my responsibility to them.

“I know I must make them happy and satisfied, fathers and grandfathers and sons. I accept that responsibility. I'm not the most important guy at this club, I serve this club and it is important for me to do everything to make the fans satisfied.

Slavisa Jokanovic can't wait to experience a full Bramall Lane again: Darren Staples/Sportimage
Slavisa Jokanovic can't wait to experience a full Bramall Lane again: Darren Staples/Sportimage

“To do that, I must make myself and my players successful.”