Sheffield United defender John Egan has admitted that the club are not where they wanted to be at this stage of the season.
After suffering relegation from the Premier League earlier this year, the Blades opted to hand over the reins at Bramall Park to Slavisa Jokanovic.
Having led Fulham and Watford to promotion during his respective spells in charge of these two clubs, the Serbian would have been hoping to make a positive start to his time in charge of United.
However, the Blades have struggled considerably with their consistency in the Championship in recent months as they have only managed to accumulate 12 points from their opening 11 league fixtures.
Currently 14th in the second-tier standings, United will be determined to deliver a response to their defeat to AFC Bournemouth when they face Stoke City this weekend.
Egan could be in line to make his 12th appearance of the season for the Blades in their showdown with the Potters.
Ahead of this clash, the defender has admitted that whilst the club are not where they want to be in the Championship, he believes that they are making progress under the guidance of Jokanovic.
Speaking to The Sheffield Star, Egan said: “We’re not where we wanted to be, but it’s always going to be hard.
“We had different issues to face, we have a long season ahead of us.
“We know what our end goal is and we’re getting better as a team, I feel.
“We’re improving all the time and can hopefully keep picking up results.
“You can’t look too far ahead, we just want to try and win the next game.
“It’s all you can do.
“There’s a lot of football to be played.”
Although the Blades have managed to illustrate glimpses of promise in the Championship during the current term, they unquestionably need to improve their consistency if they are to challenge for promotion next year.
A stand-out performer for United this season, Egan is currently averaging a WhoScored match rating of 6.98 in the second-tier.
Particularly impressive in the club’s clash with Hull City last month, the defender scored two goals for the Blades as they sealed a 3-1 victory over Grant McCann’s side.
By producing another eye-catching display in Saturday’s showdown with Stoke, Egan may be able to help United seal all three points at Bramall Lane.