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Fulham’s Joe Bryan makes Sheffield United admission ahead of Craven Cottage clash

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Fulham left-back Joe Bryan has revealed he isn’t shocked about Sheffield United’s recent form because a new manager has come in, also going on to state the Blades have a ‘very talented’ squad as he spoke in an interview with the Cottagers’ media team ahead of the two sides’ clash.

The South Yorkshire outfit have actually been in a better vein of form than the current league leaders coming into this tie, with the Blades winning 10 points from a possible 12 in their four league matches since the international break.

New boss Heckingbottom has taken charge of the previous two games after succeeding Slavisa Jokanovic, with United winning both matches under his stewardship as they look to re-establish themselves as genuine promotion contenders.

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Amid their recent form, they now sit just six points away from the play-off zone with a game in hand over many of their fellow top-six chasers and current teams in the play-offs, so they will have no shortage of motivation to travel down to the English capital and pick up all three points against Marco Silva’s men.

Monday’s hosts at Craven Cottage have drawn their last four matches, which has only gone on to drag themselves down into a race for the automatic promotion spots once again having previously looked as though they would be uncatchable.

But focusing more on the visitors, Bryan turned his attentions towards the Blades and is aware of the challenge the west London outfit face on Monday evening, even with the home advantage at their disposal.

The 28-year-old said: “It’s natural when a new manager comes in to have an upturn in fortunes.

“I think everyone gives an extra yard because they want to be in the team and they want to impress. I think that’s human nature, so we’ll have to be wary of that.

“Obviously they’ve got a very, very talented squad, one that was in the Premier League not long ago, and the majority of that squad is still together, so we will respect them, but we are where we are for a reason, so we’ve got to do our best to show that again on Monday.

“We’ve not shown it for a few weeks now, so we’re all ready to fight to get back to winning ways.”

The Verdict:

The Blades certainly have the depth in certain positions to sustain a promotion push and in the end, this depth could prove to be the difference between them and other play-off chasers as they look to seal a top-six spot.

Earlier in the season, they didn’t have a system suited to them or a settled starting lineup in terms of personnel, making it extremely difficult for the South Yorkshire side to gain any sort of momentum and consistency.

But with Heckingbottom now at the helm, it looks as though they will stick with a back three for the long term and with this formation now set in stone, he can try and find his best 11 to fit the mould, something he already seems to be doing.

Wes Foderingham is proving to be reliable in goal, John Egan, Chris Basham and Ben Davies are a consistent back three and Jayden Bogle and Enda Stevens seem to have cemented their place as two of the first names on the teamsheet.

This is a particularly impressive achievement for Bogle who had to fend off competition from George Baldock for that right wing-back spot.

There will be a decent amount of competition in midfield when everyone’s fit and the same applies to the forward area too, so it will be interesting to see if Heckingbottom can keep everyone happy and maximise morale in a bid to win to force their way into the promotion mix.


A 21-year-old Reading FC fan and writer who graduated from the University for the Creative Arts in the summer with a degree in Journalism and Media Production. Other topics written about include politics, mental health and education.

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: Fulham’s Joe Bryan makes Sheffield United admission ahead of Craven Cottage clash

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