George Long has insisted Sheffield United will always “look after our own” following an emotional week at the League One club.
The goalkeeper was speaking after Bramall Lane bade farewell to former England international Alan Hodgkinson and club photographer Martyn Harrison who both passed away last week.
Long, a graduate of United’s youth system, told The Star: “Growing-up as a fan, going to games, getting a season ticket and then coming through the academy and into the first team, I know this is a family club. We take care of our own.
It’s been a very sad week and we’ve lost two very special people. They were both brilliant guys and both lifelong Blades. So, to hopefully pay tribute to them with a win was brilliant. The tributes before our game and during the build-up were, I thought, brilliant too.”
Players and supporters alike paid their respects to Hodgkinson - who made nearly 700 appearances for United - and Harrison ahead of Sunday’s victory over second-placed Coventry City. The result, United’s first in the competition since October, lifted Nigel Adkins’ side to 11th and, according to Long, could propel Nigel Adkins’ side back into the automatic promotion race.
“We’re not where we want to be,” he continued. “We want to be at the top or at the very least in the automatic promotion places. But I think that showed what we are about.
“The lads are confident and this should build it up even more. We’re approaching Christmas and the fixtures are going to be jam-packed. So, if we can build on this with a few more six point hauls, that’s going to leave us in a good place.”