Blackwell delighted with response
Kevin Blackwell believes his players have put last season's play-off disappointment firmly behind them.
Last Updated: 03/08/09 1:15pm
Sheffield United manager Kevin Blackwell believes his players have put last season's play-off disappointment firmly behind them.
The Blades were one game from Premier League football in May, but lost to Burnley in the Championship play-off final at Wembley.
Blackwell even offered to resign after the defeat and was pleased that the club's hierarchy and fans wanted him to remain at the helm.
There have been plenty of comings and goings at Bramall Lane this season and Blackwell believes the new faces have helped alleviate last season's heartache.
"It's amazing what a rest does for you, that's for sure," he told Sky Sports News. "We're ready to get going.
"I wasn't questioning my future, I just felt it was honourable for me to offer my head on a plate if you like, because I felt I hadn't taken the club to where it should have gone into the Premier League.
"I think too many people that are in important positions don't ever put themselves up to be questioned. I felt that's what I should do.
"I was delighted that the chairman and the fans were adamant that I should stay.
"To be fair the lads have come in and have been excellent. We've lost six or seven from that team.
"We've brought in six or seven so those lads that have come in have not had to experience that whatsoever.
"That's been good. So we've kept it going and how they've started has been really pleasing."
Blackwell has lost young duo Kyle Naughton and Kyle Walker this summer to Spurs, although he is pleased to have Walker back on loan.
The sales helped raise funds to land Ched Evans from Manchester City and the Blades boss is hoping the striker can fulfil his vast potential.
"I'm delighted to say we've got Kyle Walker coming back, but obviously losing good players is always difficult," he continued.
"As any manager would tell you that not only do you want to keep your best players, but you want to add to it.
"It was a blow to lose them, but I get Walker back for another year so that's terrific. It just adds to the overall strength of the squad.
"We've brought in some good players as well. Ched Evans is a very, very good signing alongside (Lee) Williamson, (Kyel) Reid, (Glen) Little and people like these. Good players who are proven at Championship level.
"Ched's a young player with terrific potential. I'm aware he's got to fulfil that. He's physically strong. He can run the channels and he's got a good goalscoring ratio.
"Five or six clubs tried to sign him. We'd almost got him when two clubs tried to nick him at the last minute. We know that other clubs have targeted him and we're delighted to have got him."