MATT LOWTON is hoping to follow in the footsteps of former Sheffield United pair Kyle Walker and Kyle Naughton by earning England recognition.
The Blades full-back has enjoyed a fine season and missed just a couple of games in bolstering the club’s push for the Championship.
Now, along with helping United over the finishing line in the promotion race, Lowton is aiming high and using his two former team-mates as inspiration.
He said: “It has always been my ambition and my dream to play in the Premier League and for England. Having seen what the two Kyles have done at Sheffield United, they are my motivation to achieve that.
“They have been magnificent and, to be fair, they were with me when I was at Bramall Lane and trying to break through.
“Both of them took time out to help me, pass on advice and give me encouragement. They were forever telling me to keep my head down, keep playing my football and the rewards would come.”
Blades manager Danny Wilson is one of many at Bramall Lane to have been hugely impressed with the standard of the full-back’s performances this term.
He added: “He has got the potential to follow on the path of the two Kyles and get England recognition. What everyone is looking for in a player – in whatever position they play – is pace and Kyle Walker has got that in bucketloads.
“He also has a terrific attitude towards the game and Matt has got that about him. They each have their own strengths but while Kyle has probably got that extra bit of pace, maybe Matt is technically better.
“You can see his ability on the ball as well as his strengths as a defender. And don’t forget, he has five goals for us this season into the bargain.”
As keen as Lowton is to emulate Naughton and Walker by playing for the Under-21s and seniors, respectively, the Blades defender also recognises what his priority is right now – helping the club clinch a place in the Championship.
Lowton added: “The title is still there for us. Charlton are only six points in front of us, whereas at one stage it was 15.
“They are the ones looking over their shoulders. If they slip up, we know we could be right there on their tails if we keep on performing as consistently as we have done all season. If we beat Bournemouth and Charlton lose then the gap will be down to three. That will make it very interesting indeed.”
Last six games: Sheffield United WDDWWW, Bournemouth LDWLDD.
Referee: A Woolmer (Northamptonshire).
Last time: Sheffield United 4 Bournemouth 2; April 28, 1990; Division Two.
SkyBet odds: Sheffield United to win 4-7, Bournemouth to win 9-2, Draw 3-1.