Ipswich Town v Sheffield United '“ Blades in good shape to challenge, says Oliver Norwood

Sheffield United's Oliver Norwood is happy to be '˜home' as he chases a hat-trick of promotions to the Premier League.

Oliver Norwood celebrates scoring for Sheffield United against Brentford last month (Picture: David Klein/Sportimage).

Since leaving Huddersfield Town in 2014, the Burnley-born midfielder has plied his trade down south at Reading, Brighton and Fulham.

He helped the latter two clubs to back-to-back promotions from the Championship, so it was little surprise Blades’ manager Chris Wilder jumped at the chance to sign Norwood on loan from Brighton, which will turn into a permanent deal next month.

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And Norwood could not be happier with the 27-year-old Northern Ireland international now nicely settled both on and off the pitch.

“The big thing for me in the summer was getting closer to home,” he told The Yorkshire Post.

“I’ve been down south for about five years and I wanted to come back up.

“Luckily for me Sheffield United took a chance on me. My wife and little boy are back home and life is good off the pitch.

“I can’t speak highly enough of the lads and the group here. We’ve just got to stick with what we’re doing and believe in what we’re doing.

“It makes a huge difference. I know sometimes people think, ‘they’re footballers, they earn lots of money, it’s the best job in the world’. I get that because it is the best job in the world. But we’re not robots and sometimes people forget that.

“We come in to work, like everyone else, and try to concentrate on our job. Being happy off the pitch is really important. I’m happy on the pitch and I’m happy off it too.”

Fifth-placed United will travel to Ipswich Town today looking for a victory to take them to 40 points at the halfway stage of the season.

After successive promotions from the Championship, Norwood is ideally placed to assess the Blades’ chances of success this term.

“If you look at the league table we’re in a good position,” said Norwood.

“We’re not far off and I can say that because I’ve been a part of it for the past two seasons.

“This group can achieve great things this season. I think the way we play is similar to Fulham and that we dominate the ball.

“The difference is we are on the front foot more at times. That might have caught us out against West Brom because they waited for us to attack and then picked us off, but that’s the experience they’ve got.”