AS debuts go, Kean Bryan’s for Sheffield United was far from a dream.
Not necessarily for anything the 22-year-old did or did not do, more the manner of a team performance so wretched in losing to National League Barnet in the FA Cup that manager Chris Wilder later accused his players of “arrogance”.
Bryan, who moved to Bramall Lane last summer from Manchester City, admits there were “no excuses” for Sunday’s 1-0 defeat.
But he is also adamant that the shock Cup exit will not impact on the club’s push for the Premier League.
“We should be beating Barnet,” said the former England Youth international.
“No disrespect to them, but the team we had out there had a lot of experience and we should be beating a team like Barnet.
No disrespect to them but the team we had out there had a lot of experience and we should be beating a team like Barnet. Fair play to them, they came with a game-plan and won. But there are no excuses.Sheffield United’s Kean Bryan
“Fair play to them, they came with a game plan and won. But there are no excuses.
“It was a really bad day at the office. Hopefully we learn from it and go forward.
“I don’t think the gaffer will let this affect the league. He is a big voice in the changing room and he won’t let it slip.
“The lads are flying – or the league team are, I should say – so, hopefully, they can continue that good form on Saturday.”
United’s woeful Cup performance aside, the past month has been a good one for the Blades.
Thirteen points have been taken from the last six league outings, a run that has helped Wilder’s men up to third in the Championship table. Second-placed Norwich City and leaders Leeds United sit two and four points ahead respectively, but both stumbled in league outings over the festive season.
It means, even allowing for the woeful third round Cup defeat to non-League Barnet, that the Blades can claim to have the momentum heading into Saturday’s home encounter with Queens Park Rangers.
The chances of anyone who started on Sunday making the XI to face Steve McClaren’s men appear slim, as Bryan accepts.
He said: “When you get asked to play a game of football you must be ready. We have all taken a step back from even being considered so we must work hard in training and try to get back into the manager’s thoughts.”
Bryan’s season has been a frustrating one.
Having signed a three-year deal on the eve of the campaign in August, the Manchester-born utility man had to work on his fitness levels initially before then succumbing to illness and injury.
United’s impressive form during the run-up to Christmas meant further time on the sidelines before finally making his long-awaited debut alongside January signing Kieran Dowell against Barnet.
Asked if it would have been easier to come into a settled team rather than one sporting 10 changes, Bryan replied: “You would be playing alongside players who play every week. But we can’t look for excuses, we were not ready when called upon.
“It is tough for me because I have had injuries. I will not be straight in the team. I have to wait for an opportunity.
“I have to be ready when it comes. This was my first game in six months. It was a tough one for me, I had been training hard to get this moment.
“I have made my debut, that is the only positive. I have stepped out at Bramall Lane. Hopefully in the future performances will be a lot better.”