Sheffield United’s players are more interested in how Wales and Northern Ireland fare over the international break than England’s preparations for next year’s World Cup, Chris Basham has admitted, after team mates David Brooks and Daniel Lafferty were called up by their respective countries.
Despite describing himself as a “big fan” of The Three Lions, the United defender revealed the camaraderie between Chris Wilder squad means he will be cheering on their fellow Home Nations rather than watching warm-up fixtures against Germany and Brazil.
Lafferty is a member of the Northern Ireland side which begins its attempt to join England at Russia 2018 when Switzerland visit Belfast for the first leg of their WC qualifying play-off tonight.
With Brooks hoping to make his senior debut for Wales during tomorrow’s friendly in France, Basham said: We’ll be watching the boys who are a part of this club rather than England. We’d rather see Brooksy or Daniel coming on and doing well.
“I’m an England fan and I always will be. But these boys here are part of our group and they mean a lot to us. We want to see them do well.”
Northern Ireland conclude their double-header with a visit to Basel on Sunday while Wales host Panama on Tuesday night.
With United climbing to second in the Championship table after winning seven of their last 10 games, Basham said: “I’m not looking at the table but you know where you are in the league. The international break will be good for the boys; those who are away with their countries and those of us who will be staying here. We’ll be training really hard.”
Meanwhile, Steelphalt Academy graduate Jake Eastwood has signed a new contract, lasting until 2020, at Bramall Lane.
Wilder told United’s official website: “”We have a number of very good goalkeepers on our books and Jake is one of them. We see plenty of potential in Jake and hopefully he fulfils it.”