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Sheffield United defender eager to grasp rare opportunity

Ben Rooth
Chris Basham playing for Sheffield United.

Sheffield United centre-back Chris Basham is determined to take his chance at keeping his place in the starting 11.

The 33-year-old was recalled to the squad against Nottingham Forest due to Ben Davies picking up an injury. From signing in 2014, Basham has been a mainstay in the Blades lineup, especially under former boss Chris Wilder. However, his start against the Reds was only his fifth of the league campaign.

The former Blackpool man has been a consistent performer for the United. He was a key reason why they secured promotion to the Premier League in 2019, featuring 41 times.

His absence from the side is largely because of manager Slavisa Jokanovic opting to play four at the back, instead of a 3-5-2 formation. John Egan and Liverpool loanee Davies have occupied the two centre-back roles for the majority of the season, so far.

With Davies currently in the treatment room, Basham is hoping his performance on Tuesday can stand him in good stead to be selected against Blackburn on Saturday.

Speaking to The Star, he said: “It was nice to get 90 minutes under my belt.

“I’ve not been playing as much, so you have to go out there and perform for the team. I’ve been on the teamsheet for many years so I was a bit nervous, but I just had to do my best.

“It fell quite nicely; I had to do a lot of defensive work and showed what I can do when I’m driving forward with the ball as well.”

Despite conceding late against Forest, Basham was pleased with his individual performance ahead of the trip to Ewood Park.

“The manager has said that all along – if you get on the pitch, you need to take your chance,” added Basham. “You can’t be a passenger or a bystander; you have to make sure you do well.

“And I thought I did. I had a bit of pressure on myself to perform, and I did that, I thought.”

The Blades are winless in their last two league games and will be hoping to rectify this on Saturday.


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Jokanovic confirms Rhian Brewster’s position

Sheffield United boss Slavisa Jokanovic has stated that record signing Rhian Brewster is not a winger.

Despite, being deployed on the right against Nottingham Forest, Jokanovic insists Brewster will not be utilised as a wide player.

It was the first time the former Liverpool player had featured for United since the end of September.

On his position, Jokanovic explained: “Rhian Brewster is not a wide player, he is a striker and he played in this position all the time.

“We tried to adapt him, work with him and give him some information. He played well, he showed quality and he’s working really hard. If you try and tell me Rhian Brewster is a winger, I don’t believe it’s true.”

Although he missed a couple of chances, he was a threat to the Forest backline for the Blades.

“He had a chance at the end, but I felt he did well in a position he is not always used to playing,” added Jokanovic.

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