Sheffield United’s best bit of business in the January transfer window will be keeping Ethan Ebanks-Landell at Bramall Lane.
The defender is on a season-long loan from Wolverhampton Wanderers, and the fear at United is that he could be recalled in January.
The 23-year-old has become a cult figure with Blades supporters and an integral part of Chris Wilder’s three-man defence.
And, as happened on Tuesday evening, Ebanks-Landell has a lovely habit of popping up with goals at vital times.
The Blades were struggling to break down the nine men of Bury – his former club – with the game creeping into stoppage time, before Ebanks-Landell showed the finishing touch of a striker by side-footing the winner in front of a relieved Kop.
It evoked memories of Fleetwood Town last month when another late, late goal from the man they call ‘EEL’ rescued a 1-1 draw for the Blades.
Ebanks-Landell said: “It was a little bit like Fleetwood but better. I was buzzing.
“I was just happy for the three points again, no matter what the circumstances. We were comfortable at times and then there was a little bit of sloppiness. But we’re happy with the result. It was very hard to break them down, like Saturday. As a defender, it’s easier to defend when you know that’s all you’ve got to do. To be fair, they did it very well.
“The gaffer said just go up front and I was lucky enough to find myself in the right position. He said at half-time, don’t get frustrated, keep moving the ball quick and something will happen. Which, to be fair, it did. Even with 11 men, we want to play good patient football at a good tempo,” said Ebanks-Landell, who has bagged four goals this season.
The win over Bury stretched United’s unbeaten run to 14 games – ahead of Saturday’s trip to Charlton – and earned Wilder’s praise.
“The lads showed great self-belief to keep on going right until the end,” he said. “That’s what you’ve got to do, back yourself and keep believing it will happen.
“Credit to Bury, they defended deep and they defended well. But we always felt that, if we kept on going, something would drop at some point. It did and it feels like a very big win.”
Kieron Freeman and Mark Duffy missed out on Tuesday, but could return on Saturday.
“If we’d have had three or four games to go, we might have put them in,” added Wilder.
Yorkshire Post - Football
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