Miguel Llera has revealed he has rejected several chances to leave Hillsborough as he fights to rescue his Sheffield Wednesday career.
The 34-year-old Spanish defender made his first appearance of the season in Wednesday’s last match, a 1-1 draw at Middlesbrough, after coming off the bench to replace injured captain Anthony Gardner.
And with Gardner ruled out for six months with an Achilles injury, Llera knows his patience at sitting on the sidelines could be rewarded today with the visit of Yeovil Town in the Championship.
“Some clubs have called Wednesday asking if I want to leave on loan.
“But I have spoke to the manager and said I want to stay at the club, I have to think of my family too,” said Llera, who does not want to uproot his young family, and switch schools for his son.
“I am 100 per cent focussed on the club, helping the team to put in a better position. I want to play for this club.
“I have to say thanks to the supporters for all their support in the last couple of months. I am here until the club decide otherwise.
“There were some League One clubs and ones from the Championship interested. But I told the manager I want to focus on staying at the club.
“I think my moment will arrive. Maybe now, maybe in a couple of weeks. I am training well so when the manager needs me, I will be prepared for that.”
Llera was one of the heroes of Wednesday’s League One promotion team, and is a colossus figure at the heart of their defence, chipping in with 10 goals in 53 league starts.
But with manager Dave Jones under pressure to ship players out, so he can bring in a much-needed midfielder and striker on loan, Llera could have been forgiven for wanting to move for first-team football.
Llera is experienced to know patience now can bring its own rewards.
“It’s not frustration, but when you don’t play you cannot be very happy,” he admitted.
“I am happy that I am fit, training well, be professional. The club pays me to train, not to play. The manager makes the decision which he thinks is the best for the club.
“It’s true I am a little sad that I don’t play, I am waiting for my chance.
“Maybe there’s a chance (with Anthony Gardner out), but at this moment I don’t know if i will play against Yeovil.
“It’s not the first time that I have been in this situation in my career. Last season I think I did well for this club, I think if a player comes in he has to be better than me.
“Everybody knows that I do my job on the pitch. Everybody knows my level, what are the things I can do, what is the level of the team when I am on the pitch, and off it.
“Any player that comes in, he plays because he is better, and has to prove that he is better. Then I do my job.
“Last season we suffered until the last game. Fingers crossed this year will be better.
I will help all the players, because if we win it will be best for all the squad. Nobody wants to be bottom of the league.
“It’s better just to play 20 games and be fighting for play-off places, than play all the games yet fighting to be safe on the last day of the season. The season is long and everyone will have their chance.”