NEW signing Nick Blackman has revealed he turned down offers from the Championship to join Sheffield United.
The 22-year-old is in the squad for today’s Capital One Cup first round tie with Burton Albion after signing a two-year deal, with the option to stay an additional 12 months at Bramall Lane.
Blackman’s arrival for an undisclosed fee from Blackburn Rovers is a welcome boost for manager Danny Wilson as he looks to lead the Blades to promotion from League One.
“I first found out about Sheffield United’s interest a couple of weeks ago,” the striker told the Yorkshire Post yesterday.
“I wouldn’t say I wanted to move but I did know I needed to play games this season, whether at Blackburn or anywhere else.
“Hopefully, I can do that here. I had been on loan every year apart from last season, so have played a lot of football. That has been the case since I was 17 at Macclesfield.
“I want to start to make a name for myself. I did it a little bit at Motherwell a couple of years ago but then last year I didn’t play much at all.
“I was involved with the first team at Blackburn (last season) and on the bench. But that isn’t enough, regardless of what league in the world you are in. Everyone wants to play.
“The decision had to be made. I had offers from elsewhere, including a couple from the Championship but I need to play regularly and, hopefully, I can do that here.”
Blackman started his career at Macclesfield, where he impressed sufficiently to appear on the radar of Premier League Blackburn.
He moved to the Lancashire club in 2009 and has since enjoyed spells with Blackpool, Oldham, Motherwell and Rangers.
The stint at Fir Park, where the striker netted 10 goals in 18 Scottish Premier League appearances, has been the highlight of his career and Blackman is determined to use that experience to help fire United to success.
He said: “My experience in Scotland was great. It is a tough league. Aberdeen are a massive club who at the time were not fulfilling their potential, while Motherwell were probably over-achieving.
“Playing there helped me a lot. It toughened me up. Going to big grounds and scoring at places like Ibrox gave me belief. I feel much more able to cope with pressure.”
Blackman has played – and scored – at the Lane already, when on loan at Blackpool in 2008-09.
He also followed the Blades’ efforts to bounce back at the first attempt last season when, despite scoring 92 goals and amassing 90 points, they fell at the final hurdle.
The striker said: “Every team can be a threat on their day. I followed it last year when Sheffield United were so unlucky.
“What I noticed was the team scored a lot of goals. They did fantastically well. I will work hard and also try and entertain. I want to have fun and enjoy myself, because when people enjoy themselves, then usually that brings the best out of them.”
Last six games: Sheffield United LDDDWD, Burton Albion DWLLWL.
Last time: Never met at Bramall Lane.
Referee: T Kettle (Rutland).
SkyBet odds: Sheffield United to win 1-2; Burton to win 5-1; Draw 100-30.