Nathan Thomas hopes he has done enough to earn a place in the Sheffield United squad which visits Middlesbrough tomorrow after revealing it would be a “dream” to face his hometown club.
Thomas, who rejected the chance to join Garry Monk’s side earlier this summer in favour of a move Bramall Lane, made the admission after scoring on his debut for United during Wednesday’s Carabao Cup tie against Walsall.
“There was maybe a bit of something extra because of what’s coming up,” Thomas said. “It was the first game I looked for when the fixtures came out, being a local lad and all. When I was a kid, it was my dream to play at that stadium and it’s one I’ve not fulfilled yet. Saturday might be a bit early but hopefully I’ve given myself the best opportunity to have a chance of being in there.”
United, who were last night informed their bid for Conor Coady had been rejected by Wolves, head to the Riverside unbeaten in all competitions since January 24. Wilder, who expects to be without James Hanson (hamstring), elected not to select Thomas for their victory over Brentford six days ago but acknowledged he impressed in midweek.
“It was a massive opportunity for me,” the former Hartlepool midfielder said. “I know this early in my career, my opportunities are going to be limited so, when I do play, I’ve got to try and give the gaffer a problem. I’m still getting to know how the boys play but hopefully I did myself justice.”
“I’ve never played this wing-back role before, I’ve never had that many defensive duties,” Thomas added. “Obviously, in the Championship, your positional sense has got to be better. I’m always watching the senior boys here to see what they do. I think I’m getting better at it. I’ll play anywhere, even in goal, if it means I get a chance out there.”