Sheffield United get their season underway this weekend with a home clash against Birmingham City, as Slavisa Jokanovic looks to make his mark early.
Bramall Lane will play host to a near full-house for the first time time in over 16 months, when Lee Bowyer brings his Blues side to S2.
For Jokanovic, it’s an early chance at a home game and an opportunity to put on a show in front of the Bramall Lane faithful. Of course, it’s a Bramall Lane faithful where some are still feeling stung by the departure of Chris Wilder.
The former Blades boss left before the end of last season and has still to find a way back into management. But, it’s a new era at United under Jokanovic, and midfielder Ben Osborn has spoken of how impressed the squad have already been with the Serbian.
Osborn impressed with Jokanovic
Former Nottingham Forest man Osborn enjoyed a mini-resurgence of sorts when Wilder left. Paul Heckingbottom deployed him further forward, and his energy did rub off well on the Blades squad, it has to be said.
Now, under the guidance of Jokanovic, Osborn feels the Blades can be right up there, and admits the new gaffer has impressed the lads already.
“The lads have really taken to the gaffer and his staff, trying to implement something a little bit different. He’s certainly impressed us. Everyone knows his history and the lads were excited even before he started working with us,” Osborn told The Independent.
Jokanovic has won promotion with both Watford and Fulham at this level before. And Osborn believes there’s no reason why it can’t be three times for the new Blades boss.
“Certainly we want to be up there. It’s tough, the Championship is always tough. Obviously the other two teams that came down will want a strong challenge as well.
“But we definitely want to be up there and the way we’re going about things in training, the way we’re looking to play and take the game to teams shows we’ll be going out more often than not to win games of football.”
One thing United fans got used to under Wilder in the Championship was dominating games with attacking football. If Osborn’s word rings true here, then Unitedites could be in for a repeat showing under Jokanovic.