Eight days have passed since Sheffield United bowed-out of the Checkatrade Trophy and, it is fair to say, barely a tear has been shed.
But Chris Basham, whose sending-off against Scunthorpe last month proved a much hotter topic than the Group H defeat by Walsall, believes exiting the tournament represents a wake-up call for Chris Wilder’s side.
“We weren’t happy with the result but it won’t stifle momentum at all,” he said. “The manager won’t allow that and neither will the staff. They’ve been on our cases all week.
“We were a little bit sloppy and that’s not been the Sheffield United of late. We made a few mistakes for the goals and that’s crept out after it happened at the start of the season. We don’t want to let it creep back in again because we’ve been quality on the ball and taking it to teams.”
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After an enforced break due to the international fixture calendar, United return to League One action when Port Vale visit Bramall Lane this weekend. Unbeaten in the competition since August, the match also sees Basham complete his suspension following his controversial red card at Glanford Park. Although Wilder elected not to try and overturn the decision, describing the appeals process as a waste of time, club officials felt the midfielder had been harshly treated by referee Darren Deadman and used the recent meeting with Jon Whitney’s side to top his fitness levels up.
“I was buzzing the manager put me in,” Basham, who could return to action next week, said. “The rules allowed it and I was getting sticky feet watching Jeff Stelling on Sky.
“It means you’re not just running with the fitness coach all the time. I’ve got a game in and I’m quite a fit lad so it shouldn’t really have an effect. Hopefully I’ll get my chance when I’m back from suspension again. It’s disappointing not to have been a week’s suspension really.”
United climbed to fourth in the table after drawing at Fleetwood Town earlier this month but slipped to eighth after their league encounter with Walsall was postponed. The match has been rescheduled for November 29 and Basham said: “They’ll be there or thereabouts at the end of the season. We don’t want teams coming here and taking points off us. The gaffer will make sure this place is a fortress and it has been. We’re sitting fourth and we won’t let them come here in a month or so to take points off us.”