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Stevens hails Blades’ ‘band of brothers’

Sheffield United defender Enda Stevens feels the club’s team spirit will be their biggest asset in the Premier League.

The 29-year-old wing-back has started all of the Blades’ top-flight games this season and is expected to continue when they bid to extend their unbeaten away run at Watford on Saturday.

“The changing room is like a band of brothers,” said Stevens, who was included in Mick McCarthy’s Republic of Ireland squad this week for their Euro 2020 qualifiers against Georgia and Switzerland.

“It’s sounds funny to say it, but it’s like you’re going into war before the game.

“We’re all together. There’s going to be disappointments through the season, but we’re all together and we play for each other.

“This season there will be games when we’re not going to be playing too well, like at Everton, we didn’t play too well there, but we stuck together and we won 2-0.”

Blades boss Chris Wilder has been criticised this week for refusing to console Dean Henderson after his goalkeeping error handed Liverpool all three points in last week’s 1-0 home defeat.

But Stevens has no complaints about the Yorkshireman’s man-management skills and envisages spending the rest of his career at Bramall Lane.

“He just has the belief in us. He instils confidence and belief,” Stevens said.

“He probably believes more than us that we are good enough to be up there with the best teams in the Premier League.

“He gets a bit frustrated at the little mistakes we’re making, but he gives us all the confidence in the world to go out and play.”

When asked if he could end his playing days with the Blades, Stevens said: “Yes definitely. I don’t really want to think too much about finishing my career, I’m only 29, but I’m just taking it year by year and focusing on my football.

“I want to grow. This club has grown. The manager’s not been in the job too long and look where he’s taken us.

“So as long as I’m here with him and wherever this club is taking us – and I think it’s on the up – I want to be part of it.”

The Blades’ victory at Goodison Park last month followed draws at Bournemouth and at Chelsea, while their last away defeat was in January when they lost 1-0 at Swansea.