Conor Hourihane admits his past connections with a number of other Sheffield United players and staff have helped him to settle in at Bramall Lane.
The midfielder joined the Blades on a season-long loan deal from Aston Villa, and made his debut for the club as a second-half substitute in Saturday’s 6-2 thrashing of Peterborough on Saturday, their first league win of the season.
With his move to Bramall Lane, Hourihane has been reunited with the likes of John Egan, Enda Stevens, and David McGoldrick, who he has previously played with on international duty for the Republic of Ireland.
There is also a familiar face in the backroom team for Hourihane, with the Blades’ Under 23s coach Paul Heckingbottom having previously managed the midfielder at Barnsley.
Now it seems as though the fact he knows some of those already at Sheffield United, as well as familiarity with the area from his time with Barnsley, has helped Hourihane adapt to his surroundings at Bramall Lane.
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Speaking to the Yorkshire Evening Post about adapting to life at Bramall Lane, Hourihane said: “I am no stranger to this area of the world and I lived in Sheffield for three-odd years when I was at Barnsley, so I know the area and John and Hecky and a few staff members as well behind the scenes and in the gym.
“There’s a physio I know from Barnsley as well and there’s a lot of friendly faces and there’s also Dave McGoldrick and Enda Stevens, so it was an easy fit and it has been really easy knowing the city and not having the sat-nav on wherever I go.”
Hourihane will be looking to make his next Sheffield United appearance on Tuesday night, when the Blades host Preston at Bramall Lane.
This is certainly a good sign for those of a Sheffield United persuasion.
Hourihane has shown on plenty of occasions that he has more than ability to make a big impact in the Championship, which is just what they need after a challenging start to the season.
They will therefore, be keen to get Hourihane settled in and comfortable with his surroundings, so that he can start making an impression on the pitch as quickly as possible.
Given the circumstances, it looks as though the midfielder has been able to do that, so his loan signing from Villa could prove to be a rather smart piece of business from the Blades.