Norwich City v Sheffield United: Dons experience steels Blades defender for seminal run-in

MAX LOWE may not be among a hardcore of Sheffield United players who held their nerve at the sharp end of their last promotion season in 2018-19, but he did experience his fair share of tension and high stakes in that very same campaign.

It was played out over 400 miles from his East Midlands home at Aberdeen - with the young defender leaving his comfort zone and moving away from family and friends to the north east corner of Scotland after a loan move from Derby County.

It may not have been easy, but Lowe eventually prospered amid the intense environment of SPL football.

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While the likes of Oli Norwood, John Egan, Chris Basham and Billy Sharp possess the tools to cope with another demanding and definitive end to a season at Bramall Lane, you suspect that Lowe does as well.

Max Lowe. Picture: Simon Bellis/Sportimage.Max Lowe. Picture: Simon Bellis/Sportimage.
Max Lowe. Picture: Simon Bellis/Sportimage.

He said: "The experience in Scotland made me become a man.

"I was moving away and isolated for the first time. I was with my mum and dad at the time and had to go to Scotland. I thought it was a four hour drive and I then realised Aberdeen was an eight-hour drive.

"I also did not know anyone up there, understand the culture or the football rivalry. It was all new to me and sink or swim to be honest.

"I didn't realise how big football was up there at the time before I went. I played in a final and a semi-final, both against Celtic and the games up there are massive.

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"The people up there live and breathe football and I came back as a different player. It was my first full season of football."

Refreshed and revived from a well-timed break, United are ready to hit the home straight hard, starting at Carrow Road.

All told, Paul Heckingbottom's side will fit in ten matches in the space of 38 days in league and cup and just as bodies received valuable rest time in the international hiatus, so did minds.

Lowe added: "At this point of the season, it is becoming more stressful with the situation we are in.

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"The gaffer said a couple of weeks ago that we looked mentally tired in a game and it does kind of feel that way when games are coming thick and fast - Saturday/Tuesday, Saturday/Tuesday.

"Now he has got more bodies back and we've had a week off and everyone would say they are refreshed and ready to go again.

“We are itching to get ready and go again.

"My little boy keeps my mind off football, but when you are back in the building, you are ready to go.”

"It's hard to find that balance, but the gaffer is really good at (deciding) how many days we should have off and hands on with you spending time with your family, but when you are in here, you are working hard.

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Dozy Mmobuosi's bid to complete his takeover at United has been bolstered by the publication of a full review of his company finances, independently audited by Deloitte.

It shows that the Nigerian technology billionaire has consolidated revenues of $1.15 billion, which equates to about £932 million.

Mmobuosi, whose company Tingo mobile was last year valued at $7.6 billion - £6.17 billion - is seeking to complete a reported £115million takeover of the promotion-chasing Championship outfit.