John Egan
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Why Sheffield United's Dubai trip was more than just a holiday

Sheffield United have recently returned from a trip to Dubai and will be looking to boost their hunt for a place in Europe with a win over Brighton this weekend.

The Blades currently sit in sixth place, just two points off the Champions League spots. Chris Wilder’s men have won their last three games, with successes away at Crystal Palace and Millwall backed up by a win at home to Bournemouth.

SHEFFIELD, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 09: Oliver McBurnie of Sheffield United celebrates their second goal to make the score 2-1 during the Premier League match between Sheffield United and AFC Bournemouth at Bramall Lane on February 9, 2020 in Sheffield, United Kingdom. (Photo by Daniel Chesterton/Offside/Offside via Getty Images)

It would be easy, then, to assume that their trip to Dubai would be nothing more than a winter break. However, as revealed by a report from the Sheffield Star, it appears there is much more than meets than the eye when it comes to the trip.

Chris Wilder was keen to see how his new players integrated within the squad. Panos Retsos, Sander Berge, and Richairo Zivkovic all arrived late in the transfer window. All three are foreign imports, something the Blades squad is not quite used too.

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The trip to Dubai was the perfect opportunity for the three new lads to interact with the squad. Everyone knows just how tight-knit a group this current Blades crop is. It is, then, imperative for any new signings to get used to the inner workings of the first-team.

Much-needed downtime

While the trip to Dubai was all about keeping the momentum going and getting some fitness and training in, it was also equally important for the new players.

Coming into a squad known for its team spirit and solidarity can be difficult. While Sander Berge has been given his chance already, Retsos and Zivkovic will feel like they need to settle in quickly.

Sheffield United’s English midfielder John Lundstram (C) celebrates with teammates after scoring their second goal during the English Premier League football match between Sheffield United and Bournemouth at Bramall Lane in Sheffield, northern England on February 9, 2020. (Photo by Lindsey Parnaby / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or ‘live’ services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. / (Photo by LINDSEY PARNABY/AFP via Getty Images)

There’s a good bunch of players at Bramall Lane. Indeed, the footage from the SUFC Twitter account quickly highlights the togetherness of the club.

Sheffield United will see last week as nothing more than business as usual. The home game with Brighton won’t be able to come quick enough.


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